The first paragraph of the above article is a no brainer: “After looking for love on the Internet and failing to find it, frustrated lonely hearts are heading to court, accusing online dating sites of engaging in deceptive practices.”
I’ve browsed a few personal sites and common sense tells me that a woman who looks like a porn star, shaves like one too, and isn’t afraid to talk about her favorite positions in her profile, probably doesn’t have a difficult time keeping her social calendar full. So why do profiles like that seem to out-number believable ones by 10-to-1?
I had a friend who used to work at an ‘online dating and community’ website. Part of his job was to maintain 20+ ‘profiles’, though he tended to think of them as ‘roles’ in the same way an actor thinks about a part. They had sophisticated software that made it possible to send personalized emails and replies to hundreds of real people at a time. This company spent developer hours building tools that allowed one employee to take on the ‘roles’ of dozens of company managed accounts. That sounds like an intent to deceive to me.
Sure, the website says “for entertainment purposes only”, but a small disclaimer doesn’t excuse a business model based around lying to your customers. Oddly enough, the company my friend worked at wasn’t listed in the suit. Perhaps the sites that specialize in ‘hook ups’ instead of dates will be immune from suit until someone desperate enough is willing to admit they frequent that type of site? Who will be the sad monkey hungry enough for their 15 minutes of fame that they will admit in court they had an account on AdultFriendFinder or Bullz-Eye or sexsearch.com?
So, I know that there are sites that use shill accounts to keep their members interested enough to keep their subscriptions active. The funny thing is, I don’t think that is what happened to Matthew Evans; and I think that when he has his day in court it will be filled with pitying looks directed at him.
Matthew Evans claims that he went on a date with a woman, and when the date was running flat she ‘confessed’ that she was a match.com employee and that this was a ‘bait date’. (This is not from the article linked above, but from other news stories. Google “Matthew Evans match.com” if you want to see all the variations of this story.) When Matthew files a lawsuit, and the depositions start getting taken, the woman states that she does not work for match.com. Has Matthew considered, even for a moment, that the woman was lying to him to get out of an unpleasant date? If she really worked for the company it would be her job to stay within her ‘role’. I could see the possibility of confessing if she was head over heels in love with the guy, and wanted a relationship unburdened with lies; but why spill the beans if all she has to do to get a paycheck is finish the date and go home? To me, it sounds more like an escape line that has backfired in a really big way.
I remember an episode of NewsRadio where Jimmy James runs for president just so he can get his face on national television with a lonely heart plea and an 800 number to call for a date with him. Somehow I don’t think Matthew Evans is going to get the same positive response as a result of his moment in the news spotlight.