by Gena Kaufman
Online dating would be the best thing to happen to most people's love lives, if only it didn't come with unlimited creepy messages and the fear of being Catfished/meeting a murderer/seeing your ex-boyfriend's online dating profile. (Those are all practically equal on my fear-o-meter.) But there are two new weapons you could consider introducing into your arsenal in fighting the good fight against terrible dudes.
The first, however, seems a little crazy. CreepShield uses facial recognition software to compare head shots from online dating profits to those of registered sex offenders. Yikes. While the safety aspect of that makes sense, according to a New York Times blog, the software can be misleading, since when there isn't a particularly close match, the sight will still offer low-percentage matches as the closest option, saying that the photos may not be very similar but they are the closest match. In short, it could cause a lot of paranoia over what's a relatively small chance of encountering a registered sex offender.
On the other hand, if new startup Mesh can accurately eliminate the unfortunate behavior is purports to, it could revolutionize your online dating practices. It's still in the pre-beta phase, but ultimately seeks to prevent overly aggressive creepsters from bugging you by filtering out messages with vulgarity, bad grammar, and copy-and-pasted greetings. Mesh will also require people who want to contact you to answer "Dealbreaker" questions you've specified.
I don't know how Mesh would prevent copy-and-paste messages, but if it can really do that, it would seriously save me 95 percent of the time I spend online dating and probably make me look at least three years younger thanks to eliminating a major source of frown lines. I'm crossing my fingers.
Would you try either of these tools? What do you do to eliminate the shady guys who try to contact you?
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