The informal experiment led Roderique to a disheartening conclusion: "People aren't as open as perhaps they claim to be." Roderique joined CTV's Your Morning Wednesday, to share the details of her social experiment, which highlighted what she says are some of the underlying realities of the supposedly liberal-minded dating scene in Toronto.
"When you conduct interviews with people, they generally express that they are happy to date outside their race," she said.
The man even wished her death simply because she turned down his advances.
Was all of this necessary to say to a woman you never met in person?
It seemed like an easy way to dive back into the dating pool after leaving a relationship.
But the anticipated flood of attention was more of a trickle: five messages in three days, and one or two messages each day thereafter.
“There is kind of a systemic racial bias pretty much in every dating site I’ve ever looked at,” notes Christian Rudder, co-founder of OKCupid and author of the dating statistics book Dataclysm.
Put off and suspicious that her black skin had something to do with it, Roderique slapped her white friend's photo on the same dating profile, and watched as the messages came pouring in.
Then, she tried a photo of herself, digitally altered to make her appear Caucasian, and saw even more messages filling up her inbox.
Russell told the Washington Post the site is “about equal opportunity”.
I just believe it’s hypocrisy to say ‘one group can do this, but another can’t’.” Russell is new to the online dating industry, having previously worked in car sales.