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Online Dating's Tangled Webs

Anyone that has ever set up a profile on an online dating site or casually perused some of the listings on Yahoo Personals or some other site have likely at least pondered the thought of whether people are truthful at all times in their ads and pictures. Indeed, the extra layer of secrecy that the computer interface provides could certainly enable less than inscrutable daters the ability to fudge a few aspects of their personality or airbrush some of the blemishes on their personal photo.

The question of how much computer-aided mediums such as online dating sites and social networking sites promote deception is the subject of Jeff Hancock's research, work detailed in a recent Cornell article. Lonelygirl15, YouTube superstar, is one of the examples used by Hancock to describe the easy of lying online and his research into whether the actual speech used to deceive is patently different than speech used to tell the truth.

If Hancock is right in his hypothesis that the verbal cues used in speech mediated by a computer can definitively show whether someone is lying or not, the effect on online dating is pretty apparent. In an industry where individual sites are constantly looking for the latest piece of technology to give them an edge, it seems a no-brainer that an online dating portal would utilize "lie detection technology" if it did in fact come into existence.

Developing an online dating site with the most authentic members possible is now a popular marketing technique to play off of the fears some people have that online profiles enable people to lie about certain aspects of their lives. Background checks and documented proof of certain traits is currently in place on some sites, but such a computer program that could determine deception would take this type of personal quality control to entirely new level. Would you want anti-lie detection on your favorite site?

Posted by eDatingCentral.com Feb 12, 2007 6:32 pm


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