Legal Issues

by Carlo Longino




Match.com, Yahoo Get Dates Of Their Own -- In Court

from the hell-hath-no-fury-like-an-online-dating-user-scorned dept

One risk of any dating service is that people aren't always who or what they say they are. Things like "experienced, rugged, huggable SWM seeks SWF for fun, excitement, future" tend to really mean something closer to "balding, fat middle-aged guy seeks hot young thing for some action", and if somebody's not happy with how they look, they can easily send potential dates a picture of somebody better looking. But how many people would ever expect their dates are moles planted by the dating service themselves? Users have sued Match.com, alleging company employees responded to customers' ads, and even went on dates with them to try and prevent them from cancelling. Meanwhile, Yahoo's been accused separately of putting up fake profiles to pump up its user numbers. Online dating sites are seeing declining use, but these tactics (assuming they were actually used) are pretty drastic, and differ drastically from the patented "method and system for identifying people who are likely to have a successful relationship." Online dating users often get derided as sad and desperate -- but if the companies have to resort to such dirty tricks to hang on to users, their desperation would seem to go a bit deeper.

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  • identicon
    Reg Braithwaite, 18 Nov 2005 @ 2:20pm

    No Subject Given

    This isn't a new issue. Back when such things were conducted in writing, newspapers often planted fake personals ads to get things going, with (of course) box numbers for written replies.
    (I have some familiarity with classifieds, as I used to write classified ad management software.)
    The "ethics" of the practice were to discard all replies to the fakes. I witnessed clients dutifully separating replies to planted ads and shredding them unread.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Christopher, 18 Nov 2005 @ 3:30pm

    match.com and adultfriendfinder.com

    Wow! And I thought I was paranoid! This has happened to me on match.com and a couple of other websites. It seems to be primarily done when I haven't visited a site in a while - suddenly I will get an email stating that so and so is interested in me, so I'll goto the website and respond and never get a reply or if I do, its something generic.
    AdultFriendFinder.com shows my town as having about 3,000 *beautiful* woman, when the town has a population of only 5,000.
    So, all in all, I gave up on matchmaking sites and went back to the old way of searching for a lady friend, which worked much much better.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      blah, 18 Nov 2005 @ 11:55pm

      Re: match.com and adultfriendfinder.com

      I ended up meeting 2 total psychos off match.com..

      and you're right about adultfriendfinder. they have a lot of.. ahem.. 'professional' ads in there.

      they inflate the numbers to get more schlubs to subscribe.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Tony K, 18 Nov 2005 @ 3:51pm

    Match

    You get what you pay for...What do people expect for free or next to nothing? At least a Brick and Mortar store has some assurances that people are who they say they are.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Diesel, 18 Nov 2005 @ 4:50pm

    Match.com worked for me

    I'm sorry to hear this news. I'm a huge advocate of online dating. I met my current girlfriend as of 5 months from match.com. I'm actually shocked to see that less peopel are signing up for online dating. I feel that online dating is the best way to actively seek someone, minus meeting someone for a friend. I'd rather take my chances with fake winks and false advertising than spend a ton of cashing trying to meet someone at a bar =)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Chris, 19 Nov 2005 @ 1:18pm

    No Subject Given

    All of these pay dating sites are going to go away if My Space remains free. I think I'm the only one in my group of friends who hasn't jumped on that bandwagon. My Space lets you network and see who your friends's freinds are, and have a better chance of getting to meet them.

    Then again I've already done the online dating thing a couple times. Met one whack job and one honest decent girl.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Howard, 19 Nov 2005 @ 1:49pm

      ORKUT

      The new Google Orkut is very likely to run all of the other matchmaking sites out of business. Free, unlimited access to members. But in order to get in, you have to get an invitation.

      Which you can buy on ebay, of all places. Speaking of which, I think that the combination of Froogle and GoogleBase is going to kill ebay. Even faster if "GooglePay" ever becomes more than a rumor.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      RAA, 18 Dec 2005 @ 2:14pm

      Re: No Subject Given

      My Space is for teens, not serious daters.
      It's not everybody that wants to social network.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Haggie, 22 Nov 2005 @ 1:35pm

    No Subject Given

    I prefer to meet my dates the old fashioned way. Shit-faced in a bar at 2am...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    RAA, 16 Dec 2005 @ 11:05am

    All motivated by greed..

    For years match.com boasted about 5,000 people signing up with them daily. How many of those are fake?
    When yahoo was accused of posting fake profiles, their dating site became inaccessible for several days. They probably needed to pull the fake profiles off the site.
    eharmony is another site that most people are unhappy with.
    All these companies are motivated by greed. It's probably high time we start supporting the Free dating sites. oasisoflove.com, and a few others are phenomenal.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Dave, 19 Mar 2008 @ 9:18am

    Other free sites

    OKcupid.com and DateHookup.com are entirely free. OKcupid is very good and isn't just for dating. They have quizzes/tests to take and just single questions to answer to get a better feel for who you are. AND they don't just ask for your answer, they ask for your answer on a sliding scale, PLUS how you'd want your match to answer, PLUS how important your match's answer is! It really helps to label some answers "mandatory" and others "unimportant." (For instance, I require a kind, generous person but I don't care which, if any, religion my match follows.)

    Oh, and they have serious and just-for-fun user-created questions and tests. On the "Zombie Preparedness Test" I found out, for instance, that I won't survive because I'll go back to save my family and/or friends! ;-)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    johnjonhson, 15 Apr 2008 @ 10:27am

    RE: "OKcupid is very good and isn't just for dating. They have quizzes/tests to take and just single questions to answer to get a better feel for who you are."....................thats precisely why okcupid is rubbish. its full of people using the site just to do the quizzes, they are not using the site for dating, therefore okcupid is not a dating site. Avoid okcupid, its a waste of time for serious dating.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Show Now: Takedown
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.