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What Can Match.com do to Prevent Sexual Assaults Between Members?

Dating website Match.com has had its share of controversies circulated since it went live in 1995.

To its credit, the United States District Court for the Central District of California dismissed the 2005 class action lawsuit which alleged that Match.com “secretly employs people as ‘date bait’ to send bogus enticing E-mails and to go on as many as 100 dates a month – or three a day – to keep customers ponying up.”

However, a 2009 class action lawsuit is currently pending in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York with allegations such as “Match misleads paying subscribers by charging them for the ability to write e-mails to members who can’t reply to their e-mails or even read them.”

Most recently, a Los Angeles woman claiming she was raped by a man she met on Match.com is suing the site. The man was registered in public sex offender registries, as he was previously convicted for assaults on other women he met on the Internet. Her attorney has publicly discussed his intent to seek a temporary injunction barring the site from signing up more members until Match.com screens members to determine if they are sexual predators. “If somebody uses their credit card to pay, then they basically run their name through a federal sex offender data bank and through a local county registration bank,” said plaintiff’s attorney Mark Webb. Match.com has responded that it would create problems trying to get background information from all of their users, as they do not obtain social security numbers.

Resources:
Wall Street Journal, In Lawsuit’s Wake, Match.com to Screen Predator Databases, By Ashby Jones, April 18, 2011.

CBS News, Woman sues Match.com after alleged sex assault by man she met online, Posted by Edecio Martinez, April 15, 2011.

Los Angeles Times, Woman suing Match.com over alleged sexual assault speaks out about incident, Alexandra Zavis and Shelby Grad, April 15, 2011.