Sign this petition and stand with the AARP Fraud Watch Network so we can pressure online dating sites to help stop scammers from stealing hearts and hard-earned money. It’s a simple question and a common one — one whose answer could determine the fates of both a multi-billion dollar industry and millions of lonely hearts.
— that online dating “works.” This much should be obvious: We don’t actually know. But, one dating site's assertion that it applies a "scientifically-proven matching system" has resulted in the banning of an ad on the London Underground for making misleading claims.Per the Advertising Standards Authority's (ASA) ruling, a billboard ad for dating website e Harmony featured the headline, "Step aside, fate.But in terms of actual function, the things we think of as uniquely “online” in online dating — the algorithms, the personality profiles, the “29 dimensions of compatibility” — don’t appear to make too much of a difference in how the enterprise “works.” Meanwhile, all this is happening during a time of enormous revolution in the way we conceive of relationships and commitment.A record number of Americans have never been married, and only a scant majority — 53 percent — want to be.After all, 2.1 million people get married in the U. every year, and half of those couples will divorce.If we parsed their fates according to the exact venue in which they met, or any other number of arbitrary factors, we would probably turn up the same kind of confusing, self-contradicting results that research into online dating perennially seems to.It’s a question that seems distinctly answerable: we have user data, surveys, clear metrics for success or failure, entire books full of colorful charts.And yet, just this week, a new analysis from Michigan State University found that online dating leads to fewer committed relationships than offline dating does — that it doesn’t work, in other words.That’s a tough one to parse, and different studies have defined it different ways.(This one, for the record, looked at marriages and other long-term relationships; if you’re not looking to tie the knot, its conclusions aren’t for you.) Then there’s a sort of secondary issue in how we define a site’s actual function, because despite the marketing hype, that isn’t clear.