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Dating sites

When people think of dating sites, what comes to mind might be the more “traditional” kind of prim and proper site where some behind the scenes magic is pobbily used to compute who is, or might be, compatible with who.

The dating site field has come a long way since those early days though. Nowadays there are many so called “casual” dating sites, some of which range the gamut from extremely soft-core porn through not quite hardcore porn. They are in a sense amateur-porn sites “with benefits”, in which the vistors are the content. This is a brilliant site type from a webmaster perspective, as the visitors provide the content and, unlike the “traditional” dating site the goal of the visitor is often not to simply get in, grab a mate, and quit the site but, rather, to adopt a dating lifestyle, cruising the site(s) month after month after month for “hookups” and/or “casual encouters”.

Oh sure of course you still see some folks there looking for long term relationships, but even then you'll often see that the long term relationship desired is a long term “bit of action on the side” for a husband or wife who claims they are “not getting enough at home”.

Then too there are also now sites that add more “web 2.0” features, resembling social sites (facebook, google plus, that kind of thing) in many ways wshile, of course, still keeping the emphasis on hooking up with other “like minded” adults for adult encounters.

Identity theft

The standard mainstream sites like Match.com are pretty much what you'd expect, though even they do have a “wink” feature for just kind of generically flirting without having to think up something clver to say. But the adult hookup type sites are fascinating from a programming or game-theory or web marketing strategy point of view because in a way they kind of steal people's identities. Seriously! You can sit there browsing a bunch of profiles, maybe saying yes that one looks interesting to some, and then if you go look at your “sent mail” box you'll find you have been sending all kinds of mail! Heck these things will send mail that pretends to be from you even if you don't do any browsing and don't claim you find any of the profiles interesting! It is fiendishly clever, since people have to be paying members in order to read or send mail, as it can lead the recipients of the mail to think you must be a paying member and it can lure them into paying for a membership to read the mail that pretends to have been sent by you, while all the time you might have already quit the site years ago and never been back! Each time someone looks at your profile, or adds you to their favourites, or rates you, or sends you a wink or a flirt, the system automatically responds, to make it seem as if you are still a member and you are interested. Isn't that, really, a kind of identity theft? Presumably they try to sleaze past such accusations by claiming that is merely their way of “introducing” you, but seriously, if they just wanted to introduce you they could do it without pretending to be you! They could send a message from the system for example, saying so and so looks like they might be a good match. Outright pretending to be you, sending suggestive (and possibly misleading, depending on your actual level of interest in the suckers it is sucking in) messages that pretend to be from you, seems at least somewhat of a grey area even if it cannot quite be technically prosecuted as identity theft.

Problems, dangers

A perennial problem faced by any dating site is the classic “419 romance scammer”, often creating huge numbers of accounts solely for the purpose of luring lonely singles into classic scams. At the time of writing for example if you go onto Mate1.com and take advantage of the slight broken-ness of their chat system's paywall to get into chat with some pretty lady there only seem to be two types of such ladies you will encounter, and both seem to use chat-bots to walk you through an initial conversation in which they try to get you to contact them through Yahoo! Messenger instead of continuing to the chat popup that is built into Mate1's site.

Once type is supposedly American, but happens to be in Ghana, or Nigeria, or West Africa, or even Malaysia, usually as a student. You might ask yourself on reading their grammar whether all Amarican students abroad are illiterate, but on the other hand it might be wiser to consider the possibility the human, if any, behind the chatbot might not be American at all. This is the classic 419 romance scame, you can find more info about such scams at romancescams dot com.

The other type wants to help you get free access to videochat, and does so by trying to get you to sign up at a different brand (and much more attractive brand, visually) of “casual dating and chat” site using their affiliate link. Some vague deal to do with getting a free upgrade at Mate1.com maybe be implied, but chances are all they really want is to get you to sign up at some other site using their affiliate link. The other sites are much more attractive than Mate1.com so in a way they might really be doing you a favour; if you are going to buy a paid membership at a dating site Mate1.com does not seem to be in the upper echelons of quality as such sites go.


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