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CQ Researcher provides award winning in-depth coverage of the most important issues of the day. Our reports are written by experienced journalists, footnoted and professionally fact-checked. Full-length articles include an overview, historical background, chronology, pro/con feature, plus resources for additional research. Graphics, photos and short "sidebar" features round out the reports. Shorter "Hot Topics" articles provide a solid introduction to subjects most in demand by students.

FEATURED REPORT

Online Dating

- March 20, 2015
Can apps and algorithms lead to true love?
  • Overview
  • Current Situation
  • Chronology
  • Pro/Con
  • More...
Featured Report

Since its start 20 years ago, online dating has grown into a multibillion-dollar industry that includes not only giants such as Match.com and eHarmony but also niche sites serving older singles, Christians, Jews, animal lovers, vegans and even would-be vampires. As the business adapts to an increasingly mobile culture, more and more people are accessing dating services through smartphone apps, some of which allow users to appraise potential dates instantly and to accept or reject them with the swipe of a phone screen. One in 10 American adults has tried online dating, and nearly 60 percent of Internet users say it is a good way to meet people. Yet some researchers say dating companies' matchmaking algorithms are no better than chance at providing suitable partners. At the same time, critics worry that the abundance of prospective dates available online is undermining relationships. Scammers, meanwhile, are using dating sites to extract money from vulnerable targets, and some dating-site users advise caution about maintaining personal safety.

The Creep Factor

Companies are seeking to address harassment of female users.

Romance Scammers

Fake profiles fool users into sending fraudsters money.

Human Guinea Pigs

Legal debates emerge as companies experiment with user data.

 
1950s–1970sComputer dating begins on college campuses.
1990sWeb browsers allow online dating to take off.
2000-PresentDating sites introduce matching algorithms; smartphones allow mobile dating apps to thrive.
   

Should states require dating site background checks?

Pro

Carole Markin
President, Carole Markin Inc., and Former plaintiff in lawsuit against Match.com .

Con

Maria Coder
Author, InvestiDate: How to Investigate Your Date.
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