Since advertising revenues are modest compared to membership fees, this model requires a large number of page views to achieve profitability. However, Sam Yagan describes dating sites as ideal advertising platforms because of the wealth of demographic data made available by users. While some sites conduct background checks on members, many do not, resulting in some uncertainty around members' identities. For instance, some profiles may not represent real humans but rather "bait profiles" placed online by site owners to attract new paying members, or "spam profiles" created by advertisers to market services and products.
Profiles created by real humans also have the potential to be problematic. For example, online dating sites may expose more female members in particular to stalkingfraudand sexual violence by online predators. Some online dating service providers may have fraudulent membership fees or credit card charges. Furthermore, different functionalities may be offered to members who have paid or not paid for subscriptions, resulting in some confusion around who can view or dating home page whom.
Consolidation within the online dating industry has led to different newspapers and magazines now advertising the same website database under different names. In the UK, for example, Time Out "London Dating"The Times "Encounters"and The Daily Telegraph "Kindred Spirits"all offer differently named portals to the same service—meaning that a person who subscribes through more than one publication has unwittingly paid more than once for access to the same service.
Imbalanced gender ratios[ edit ] On any given dating site, the sex ratio is commonly unbalanced. When one gets into the specialty niche websites where the primary demographic is male, one typically gets a very unbalanced ratio of male to female or female to male. There is some evidence that there may be differences in how women online rate male attractiveness as opposed to how men rate female attractiveness.
Discrimination[ edit ] Gay rights groups have complained that certain websites that restrict their dating services to heterosexual couples are discriminating against homosexuals. Homosexual customers of the popular was ist dating portal dating website have made many attempts to litigate discriminatory practices. In addition, many sites require members to specify what sex they are looking for without having the option "both", which complicates things for bisexuals.
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