Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Congress To Get Personal About The Personals

Regular readers will remember that I brought you my story and experience from "Internet Dating" back in March. Well, now it seems Congress may be considering regulation of "Internet Personals".

As reported by SlashDot:

Fraud in Internet Dating Prompting Regulation

" increasing tide of fraud in internet dating is prompting lawyers and lawmakers to examine possible regulations and consumer protections. Wire fraud scamming, plane ticket ripoffs, fraud perpetrated to fund trysts, fake "date bait" messages -- these are just a few of the issues the courts are beginning to deal with. Dating websites were immunized from lawsuits over false statements by the recent Communications Decency Act. Other attempts to regulate internet dating, such as the 2005 'mail-order bride' legislation, are already being challenged in court, but an increasing number of states are sponsoring their own legislation."

All I can say is, I hate government regulation, but, at the same time, the personals websites (Yahoo, MATCH.COM, eHarmony, and True being the top sites) aren't doing enough policing of their sites. Most of the fake personals and "bad date experiences" are just downright obvious or could be prevented ... EASILY!

One thing I think personals sites should do is have a very visible, "Something Is Fishy About This Person" link on everyone's profile. 2 unique IP hits on that button flag the personals site, and the personal is NOT ONLY REVIEWED, but the person who was flagged is emailed and warned.

Second, I think there should also be a very visible, "I dated this person" button. You should be able to rank a person on criteria such as:

1) Did they tell the complete truth in their profile?
2) Were they courteous?
3) As far as attractiveness ... did they meet or exceed your expectations?
4) Who paid?
5) Describe your date with this person in 100 words or less.

I also hope that if regulation does come about that politicians have insight into of social networking sites like MySpace. I have found that the majority of MySpace is nothing more than a site that playboys use for "free hookups and one night stands"


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