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Liar, Liar . . And the Perils of Online Dating

Rosie Bowie
Rosie Bowie

Running a largely offline dating site as we do at Matchcompany, in the sense that we seek to vet members before taking them into our paid membership, we try to avoid the phony profile issue faced by online dating sites.

In the US a recent survey showed that almost half the online profiles carried lies, while in the UK the figure was around 44 per cent.  Hardly surprising, given the desire to appear shorter, taller, younger, more handsome or pretty (hence the most doctored picture we can locate) etc.

However it is also seriously turning off some site users who are tired of having that tall dark and handsome 37 year old turn out as a paunchy and greying 44 year old.

The problem with the online sites is that there's little they can do to prevent false profiles being created without undertaking some GCSB-type background check.  The result however is a lot of bad data.  As one commentator said, if someone appears a little odler when they're sitting under the bright lights of Starbucks, well, it's probably because they are.

Hence, many come in our door tired of sifting through profiles that many know contain many untruths, to say the least.

The second major turn off for those who register can be the sheer number of questions.

To increase the chances of success online some sites request as many as - hold your breath - 4000 questions (OKCupid) on everything from personal habits and philosophy to sexual proclivities.  Plenty of Fish, the free online dating site in Canada provides an array of questions that PoF uses to help advertisers target with near microscopic accuracy the hair colour, height, location, interests etc of their clients.

The fact is, the online dating business is a data one.  And the data - unfortunately - is not always accurate.

See us at Matchcompany for one-to-one New Zealand dating advice and introductions.

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