A media artist and a media critic scraped 250,000 profiles form the giant social networking site and used them to create a fake "dating site". They say that it's a kind of experiment to expose the perils of joining such a site.
That sounds dubious. It seems much more like a calculated ploy to lift their respective profiles, then avoid punishment by pleading "artistic" motivations.
It's interesting that the fake project was a "dating site". It could easily have been another social networking site. But that wouldn't have been quite so attention-grabbing. So they spiced up the stunt a little. That ploy seems to have worked.