Human trafficking and online dating

However, Sam Yagan describes dating sites as ideal advertising platforms because of the wealth of demographic data made available by users.

There are mixed opinions regarding the safety of online dating.

Most free dating websites depend on advertising revenue, using tools such as Google Ad Sense and affiliate marketing.

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.A 2005 study of data collected by the Pew Internet & American Life Project found that individuals are more likely to use an online dating service if they use the Internet for a greater number of tasks, and less likely to use such a service if they are trusting of others.It is possible that the mode of online dating resonates with some participants' conceptual orientation towards the process of finding a romantic partner.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 stalking, fraud, and sexual violence by online predators.Most services also encourage members to add photos or videos to their profile.Once a profile has been created, members can view the profiles of other members of the service, using the visible profile information to decide whether or not to initiate contact.That is, online dating sites use the conceptual framework of a "marketplace metaphor" to help people find potential matches, with layouts and functionalities that make it easy to quickly browse and select profiles in a manner similar to how one might browse an online store.Under this metaphor, members of a given service can both "shop" for potential relationship partners and "sell" themselves in hopes of finding a successful match.The 2016 Pew Research Center's survey reveals that the usage of online dating sites by American adults increased from 9% in 2013, to 12% in 2015.Further, during this period, the usage among 18- to 24-year-olds tripled, while that among 55- to 65-year-olds doubled.

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