Match.com, Don't Bother Screening Sex Offenders

The effort may do more harm than good, writes Benjamin Radford
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 19, 2011 1:45 PM CDT
Match.com, Don't Bother Screening Sex Offenders
In this screen shot, the Match.com home page is shown.   (AP Photo/match.com)

(Newser) – In response to a lawsuit, Match.com announced it will start checking its members against a national sex offender registry—but that's not news worth getting excited about, writes Benjamin Radford on LiveScience. "There are several obvious flaws with the plan," including the fact that members can register for the dating site using a fake name and someone else's address to avoid being matched. Even if members' identities and addresses were somehow verified, sex offender registries themselves "are notoriously unreliable."

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Besides, Radford points out, statistically speaking, a person "is far more likely to be sexually assaulted by someone who is not listed on any sex offender registry than a convicted sex offender." So there are plenty of reasons why the cross-checking will be far from foolproof, but that won't prevent many women from having "a false sense of security" because of it, he concludes. And what women need to do is follow the time-tested rules of safe dating: "Meet in a public place, tell a friend where you're going, and don't give out personal information too early." (Read more Match.com stories.)

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