Updated Surface-preoccupied hook-up site BeautifulPeople.com has culled 30,000 uglies who were accidentally allowed to join the "largest most exclusively beautiful community in the world".
The site was last month hit by a "Shrek" virus which compromised the software allowing existing members to vet newbies. As a result, thousands of sub-standard applicants slipped through the net.
The site's MD, Greg Hodge, told the Guardian: "We got suspicious when tens of thousands of new members were accepted over a six-week period, many of whom were no oil painting."
Cue drastic action to protect BeautifulPeople's unnaturally rarefied gene pool, with the massed ranks of ogres given the bum's rush.
Hodge said: "We have to stick to our founding principles of only accepting beautiful people - that's what our members have paid for. We can't just sweep 30,000 ugly people under the carpet."
The site has refunded to total of $112,500 to 4,500 undesirables who'd stumped the $25 a month membership fee. It's also sent a "very carefully worded email, trying to be as sensitive as possible" to all the outcasts, as well as setting up a Samaritans-style helpline with counsellors on hand to help the ugmos cope with the trauma of rejection.
As to who is responsible for the ugly scenes down at BeautifulPeople, Hodge offered: "At first it looked like one of the 5.5 million BeautifulPeople rejects planted the virus, but further investigations point towards a former employee planting the virus like an evil Easter egg last month." ®
If you're among those who's been rejected by BeautifulPeople, take heart. I suffered the same fate but have since recovered some of my self-esteem and am gradually working towards becoming a more beautiful person.
We're obliged to Graham Cluley from Sophos who emailed to suggest The Shrek virus is just a PR stunt by BeautifulPeople.
"Surely you don't think the 'Shrek virus' story is true?" he protested.
Hmmm. If we're talking black helicopters, we might equally conclude that Cluley's intervention was an attempt to get Sophos's name attached to this story, in which case we're in danger of being sucked into a conspiracy feedback loop.
We'll leave it to readers to decide who's got their finger on the pulse of truth here.