Cheating Hearts Caught Online
By Walaika K. Haskins
Internet dating sites have never been more popular. They have been a romantic oasis for people with busy lifestyles, allowing them to pursue a relationship at their own pace. Many women are comfortable with the sites because they can become well acquainted with a prospective partner before even going on a date.
However, for every online testimonial that greets the lovelorn masses, there is a story of bitterness and spite. A growing number of Web sites now traffic in the business of warning women (and sometimes men) about prospective mates who have a very loose relationship with the truth.
Welcome to the online antidote for a broken heart. Web sites such as StopTheAct and TrueDater have taken up the call to expose liars and cheats before they have a chance to make a fool of you. Call it the online version of the popular reality show "Cheaters."
Rewarding the Faithful
On one site, jilted or cheated-on lovers, girlfriends, and wives can post a picture of their significant offender and list all the gory details of the philandering for the entire world to see. Think you might have a cheater on your hands? The site also has a search engine through which you can seek a scoundrel by name, city, or keyword.
Those who need or want to learn more about a questionable prospect can submit an e-mail message or go to the site's blog. In an attempt at some degree of fairness, if people feel they know a man who has been maligned unjustly, they can post a rebuttal that will be included with the other comments under his name.
"It's like a dating credit report," one site's creator, said in an interview with The New York Times.
One site's creator said that roughly 170,000 women have registered to use it and that the site's members have posted the lowdown on some 3,000 men.
While many women say the sites perform a valuable service, some men, not surprisingly, have taken a dim view of the trend.
The sites have been criticized for being biased and harmful. Detractors have said there is little to stop a woman from posting a man's picture along with a completely fictitious account of a relationship gone awry. (not really... this site, such as others - require posters to affirm their statements as true and we ask for backup. On many of these sites including ours, the information is the property & responsibility of the poster. Plus, we do some checking ourselves)
An Alternate View
Seeking to serve all sides of the online dating community, TrueDater gives both sexes the chance to reveal the lies and deceit behind an unscrupulous online profile.
Using the nickname of the person they found at their dating site, men and women can uncover the truth behind that perfect physique -- a balding head, missing teeth, or ever-expanding waistline -- and post a warning with a link to the credulity-stretching profile.
The site is not focused exclusively on liars. If a posted profile turns out to be from an honest Joe, it will be flagged as a "true dater." The rules stipulate, however, that negative feedback relates only to information posted in the profile.
If, for instance, someone reveals during the date that he lives with his parents, and if the profile does not mention that living situation or if the appropriate field is left blank, then the site simply will edit out remarks about living arrangements.
But focusing on such technical limitations might be missing the larger point. For increasing numbers of women, what matters is that these Web watchdogs are helping to separate the studs from the duds.
"With the advent of the Internet, some can be what they want instead of what they are," one site owner told the Times. "You think this guy sounds great. Turns out, he's married, and he's got five kids."
(using the links in our far right margin - you can post information about your cheater or loser on a number of different sites. Be SURE you are being truthful! EXPOSING THEM can be the first step in healing.
Also, see the links on the left margin to obtain our criteria for submitting your online predator - EOPC)