Online dating is useful—you get to meet people you wouldn’t normally meet, find people with compatible interests and go out on dates IRL. But it can sometimes be dangerous—you don’t know the people you meet and you don’t know what their capable of.
The dangers of online dating affected a woman, Jane Doe, who was sexually assaulted by a man she met through Match.com. After the assault, the woman found out that the man had a sexual criminal history and is now suing Match.com in hopes that the dating site will set up some sort of screening process to weed out the sexual predators.
It’s a fairly logical idea by the woman (whose lawsuit doesn’t ask for money). Her lawyer says every time a user pays for their subscription with a credit card, they should be checked against the public sex offenders database. Match.com, however, thinks setting up this sort of system wouldn’t be feasible and more importantly, could give their users a false sense of security. Match.com has safety tips on their website and explicitly states that it is the responsibility of the user to screen other members and that what happens on dates is not the responsibility of the company.
To her credit, the woman is using this horrific experience to help prevent future instances like hers from happening. Whatever ends up coming out of the lawsuit, the woman has raised an interesting question about online dating safety. Obviously if a screening process does get instated it’s not a guarantee to solve every potential problem, but as her lawyer said, “Don’t you think something is better than nothing?”. [LA Times]