The Risks of Online Dating

According to an article on betabeat.com, a woman is suing Match.com for $10 million in damages after she was matched with a man who brutally attacked her. Mary Kay Beckman, the woman who has filed the suit, said she was matched with Wade Ridley who hid in Beckman’s garage, stabbed her multiple times, and kicked her in the head. Following the attack, Beckman has undergone several corrective surgeries.

To make matters even worse, Mr. Ridley was also accused of murdering another woman and arrested. While in jail, he committed suicide before he could have a trial.

Unfortunately, online dating sites do not perform any criminal background checks on the people that sign up for their services. However, when new member do sign up for the dating services, they are checked against the sexual offender registry. But is that enough?

Beckman’s argument hinges on the fact that online dating services, not just Match.com, should have some sort of disclaimer appended to their websites. If fast food restaurants could get sued for their coffee burning a customer, shouldn’t online dating sites be responsible for putting their members into harm’s way?

For those of you who have used, are currently using, or plan on using online dating services in the future, would you be willing to pay a little extra for background checks to be performed on you and other members? Do you think that would make online dating any safer?

Would a disclaimer make any difference? Do you think it would make people think twice about their own safety and security if online dating companies state that they are not responsible for any type of assault or injury you may experience on a date you’ve been matched with?

Or do you believe that dating has always been risky, no matter if you go out on a date with someone you met through an online service, a setup by friends, or from a nightclub or bar? Has dating always been “at your own risk”, and should it remain that way?

Posted by Lindsay Page on Jul 28, 2012


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