Cracks Down On Ex-Con Users

From The New York Times
By Brad Stone

The women who appear in Web ads for the dating site almost certainly do not need to look online for a date.

The buxom and often barely dressed models, posing next to slogans like “It’s nice to be naughty,” are plastered across the Internet these days, and are hard to avoid on the social networking site MySpace.

In part because of its provocative ads,, based in Irving, Tex., has seemingly come out of nowhere to become one of the most visited sites in the $700 million-a-year online dating industry, attracting 3.8 million people last month.

True’s rise has been controversial. The company has riled competitors like and Yahoo Personals, which say that True’s lowbrow advertisements clash with its high-minded lobbying and legal efforts. True, which conducts criminal background checks on its subscribers, is the primary force behind a two-year-old campaign to get state legislatures to require that social Web sites prominently disclose whether or not they perform such checks.

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Tango’s Take
This is a decent overview of one of the bigger dating sites. True’s advertising may be a touch lowbrow, but they know what kind of audience they want to attract. They also know that, at some level, they’re selling sex and sex sells. Their efforts to repel ex-convicts and other assorted grease balls is commendable but users need to remain vigilant because no one misrepresents themselves on the Internet.