Dating is almost like a dirty word at any age. Especially in the fast paced swipe-right-or-left-to-meet-your-match society we live in today. Every single person is looking for the magic answer on how to find your perfect partner and truth be told it doesn’t exist. Nor is any avenue truly 100% safe. However, a few dating sites are being held accountable for not having safer policies.
If you were to sign up for a profile for Match.com today, it would cost you approx. $30 if you wanted to use the service for a month. Once you have paid the fees for the duration of time you would like to be a member, they make it very easy for you to scope out all of the people who fit your interest criteria. You complete your profile, likes and dislikes and maybe even throw in a deal breaker or two, decide on the picture that makes you look the best and bam… almost instantly you receive your first message from a possible suitor.
The butterflies and excitement take over as you set up your first date before you realize, wait a second… I didn’t have to give any sort of documentation to prove who I am, my background, and criminal history. If I didn’t, then the other person didn’t have to either. Reason being, services like Match.com do not filter out information posted on their website. They don’t run background checks, and they don’t check for accuracy in information.
However, one thing has changed thanks to a lawsuit that came to a settlement recently. The basic story to the lawsuit is that Jane Doe #1 went out on a date with a man she met on Match.com, who ended up allegedly sexually abusing her. After the alleged attack, Jane Doe #1 found that the man still had a profile running on Match.com. Jane Doe #1 alerted Match.com to the allegations. Match.com did nothing and allowed the man to continue using its services.
Jane Doe #2 met the same man through Match.com two years later, and he sexually attacked her as well. Two years later the man was convicted of criminal sexual abuse and unlawful restraint for his attack on Jane Doe #2. Jane #2 then sued Match.com for failure to remove the man’s profile, monitor his use, failure to notify police or warn other users about him. Her attack could have been avoided if Match.com would have done some sort of blocking of the man’s use of the site.
Through this lawsuit, it was found that more than 1200 complaints from straight violence to rape, were filed in a 2-year time frame with Match.com. While Match.com may not have to go through and check who is lying about being married, or who has a criminal past upon first registration, they do have to now verify any and all complaints made to make sure they uphold the safety of its users.
All of us know, dating is scary enough without having to worry about cases like this one. While it still doesn’t provide fool proof safety, it certainly helps at least a little bit to know there is a check in place. Safety on the internet is something that will never come with 100% certainty, so the best option is to always look out for yourself before agreeing to meet anyone in person that you have been speaking to online.