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The premise was simple: For a day, we removed all the profile pictures on the site.Users howled — site traffic dropped more than 80 percent that day.Compare that with meetings at bars or parties, where people might be a few drinks in when the flirting starts (studies show that alcohol use increases the risk of sexual assault).Also, people almost universally pick public places for their initial online dates: coffee shops, restaurants and the like.Although there are no comprehensive numbers, executives with other sites report similarly low levels of abuse.Additionally, dating sites have taken steps to respond to concerns.Match.com, for example, now checks its users against the National Sex Offender Registry and deletes the profiles of anyone found on the list.Online dating allows people to browse partners from their own homes.
“Online services enable a downright Seinfeld-ian level of superficial nitpickiness,” one Fortune article lamented.One sociologist found that college-age students are having no more sex today than they were in 1988.In fact, online dating has made it easier for those seeking long-term commitments to find each other.It’s an all-too-common trope: Online dating has made casual sex easy but relationships hard.
One somewhat hysterical Vanity Fair article recently claimed that sites like Tinder have brought on a “dating apocalypse,” with young men and women meeting online, getting together for sex, then never talking again.As the head of Ok Cupid, I worked diligently to untangle many of the misconceptions about finding love on the Internet. That’s why the Daily Mail calls straight women over 45 the “plankton generation” — at the bottom of the romantic food chain.