Sunday, June 04, 2006

You learn something new every day

The Online Laws of Love:
They are widows and married millionaires and Yalies . They are Christian nonsmokers and truckers and Republicans . And they all want to date you. Well, maybe not you. But someone you could pretend to be, with a little imagination and a working laptop.

Everybody is blond and skinny in cyberspace. And that can be a problem. Just consider the number of marriages ending because one of the parties just met their one true love through Yahoo Personals. As one divorce lawyer recently told Lawyers USA: "A client will come in -- man or woman -- and say there's someone across the country I want to marry. When I ask them, 'Have you met at all?' the answer is, 'No, I just know this is my soul mate.' "

With online romance epidemic, some legislators and lawyers have started to clamor for something to be done about the great abundance of fraud and heartbreak in the world of cyberlove. But really, how would that differ from trying to regulate what happened on "The Love Boat"?
I guess folks aren't getting any smarter, but there are more shenanigans than just personal "exaggeration" and the occasional outright fraud:
Lawsuits against Internet dating sites for the false statements of other customers have mostly gone nowhere, in part because Congress basically immunized such Web sites with the Communications Decency Act of 1996, which says providers can't be held liable for the lies of third parties. That makes some sense. Why shoot the messenger? But a new crop of suits is being pressed by disgruntled customers angry not about false claims by third parties, but about false third parties allegedly created by the companies. is defending a lawsuit over "date bait" -- the creation of fake flirty e-mails to keep paying customers from canceling their accounts. And Yahoo Personals is defending a class-action suit accusing it of creating phony profiles to "generate interest, public trust and give the site a much more attractive and functional appearance." Both companies deny any wrongdoing.
I wonder what the job description is for the employees who write "fake flirty e-mails" or hot profiles? More about the whole business by following the link.