New Online-Date Detectives Can Unmask Mr. or Ms. Wrong

The New York Times


For a small fee, a nascent crop of companies wants to help you find out by running background checks on the potential flames you encounter on Match.com, eHarmony or any of the nation’s nearly 1,500 dating Web sites.
Dating sites have no incentive to police their members. The Communications Decency Act absolves Internet service providers of liability because the sites are not considered the publishers of the information on their pages — their members are. The reasoning is that sites would not be able to operate if they were responsible for everything posted by their users. Lawyers have tried to get around this law, but “they usually fail,” said Brian Carver, an assistant professor at the School of Information at the University of California, Berkeley. “Every start-up depends on this protection.”