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Florida wants to regulate online dating

Solve a problem which is not there
Thu Apr 07 2005, 08:08
AFTER A HORRIBLY busy time intervening in family disputes, the State of Florida seems to want to ramp up its legislation programme, by regulating online dating sites.

Florida lawmakers are apparently looking to force online dating sites to tell paying visitors whether they perform criminal background checks on their members. Apparently, the online dating game is plagued by criminals, stalkers and rapists lurking on the Internet. This law would mean that unless a site wanted the marketing nightmare of saying it doesn't check members criminal past, they will all have to start doing it.

However, all is not as it seems. The law is the brainchild of a dating site called True.com, it appears. It has been going state to state whispering in the ears of politicians that this law is a really good idea. Already its message has found the ears of lawmakers in California, Ohio, Virginia, Michigan and Texas, who are planning similar laws.

The company claims the campaign aims to increase safety for love seekers, who too often believe they are safe with someone dangerous they have gotten to know online. Of course True.com offers the checks on its membership required by the new law it is touting.

A spokeswoman from Match.com, which doesn't offer background checks, dubbed True.com's campaign "a thinly veiled PR ploy."

She told a news wire that True.com was trying to make its mark by implying that there's a problem that doesn't exist. ... We've only had a handful of cases in our 10 years of operation."

The Florida police's Computer Crimes Center agreed saying that in the last six years they had not seen a single online dating-related case. Most of the crimes across its desk were from internet chat rooms which would not be regulated by the bill.

Read on. µ

 

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