Monday, April 18, 2011

Match.com and the safety of online dating


I'm sure you've heard the news by now. In roughly 60 to 90 days, Match.com will start checking users against a national sex offender database. And it makes complete sense. If 1 in 5 relationships start online, as the site reminds us in its ads, then their new policy is the responsible thing to do. This move is significant because Match.com had been resistant to do this in the past, citing the millions of users it would have to screen, which will certainly require more money to strengthen its process. But that is a small price to pay considering the online sexual predators who look to exploit every loophole they can.

Match.com's new screening procedure is not only necessary for user safety, but also good for the site's image in the wake of a recent lawsuit. This change - championed by many watchdog groups - is way overdue. My prediction is that the site will generate more business because this is indeed a big move. Studies have shown that many have been wary of jumping into online dating, but this is the type of policy that would convince more than a few to reconsider. And if the response is what I believe it will be, look for other online dating sites to follow suit.

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