Since the decline of arranged marriages, most people now meet their potential partner-to-be at social gatherings, at the work place or even through introductions by family and friends. However, for some, those means are insufficient, perhaps because they lack things in common, or simply do not have the time and opportunity to meet the person of their dreams. Thus, match-making agencies serve as intermediaries in an attempt to pair parties according to their interests. The proliferation of the internet has since served as a catalyst for interaction by providing a highly informal/low pressure setting. The sheer convenience and ease of use is making online-dating agencies increasingly popular amongst single individuals. By setting up a profile, people are able to determine how they come across on the first impression. The use of messaging systems such as email or instant messaging serves as a “pre-date”, and may prove to be a godsend for the socially awkward, as it allows the other party to get to know them better instead of brushing them off on first impression. However, due to the hidden nature of the internet, there are a couple of downsides. For example, it might be used by sexual predators that use dating sites as a means to prey on vulnerable individuals. There is also the issue of the ease in which individuals can change information about themselves which might mislead the other party, resulting in mismatched expectations, causing disappointments. There is therefore a need for some form of standards for online-dating agencies. We define online-dating agencies as a paid internet-based provider of match-making services, which would serve as a regulatory body of content within their community. This is contrary to pure social advertising sites, where the users simply pay to place a personal advertisement on the page, and interactions between parties are at their own discretion. We propose 5 broad standards covering different aspects of the business. 1) Advertising
Online dating agencies should refrain from deceptive advertising, such as the use of false or misleading statements in any way by inaccuracy, ambiguity, exaggeration, omission or otherwise. (e.g. success guaranteed)
We first define advertising as a form of communication used to persuade an audience (viewers, readers or listeners) to take action with respect to products, ideas, or services. As such, advertisements have the power to convince their audiences to undertake a course of action they would not otherwise not have. It is such power that tempts advertisers into use it in a misleading or dishonest way in pursuit of their own self-interests.
The target audience of such advertisements would be available men and women. It would be logical to presume that most people who look to such services are genuinely concerned about finding a partner. It is then reasonable to derive that such individuals are susceptible to the advertising tactics employed by these agencies that target their genuine concerns to finding a partner
If dating agencies are allowed to engage in deceptive advertising, all parties involved will be worse off than before.
From the perspective of dating agencies, employing deceptive methods of advertising such as pathos appeal would no doubt generate increased site traffic and membership sign-ups, but the benefits stemming from the aforementioned are only short-term, if repercussions from such actions are considered. ‘Luring’ their audiences by making promises such as guaranteed match and high success rate, the agency risks their reputation if they are unable to fulfil their promises.
It is the duty of dating agencies to be responsible toward their clients and it is then also reasonable to say that such individuals are susceptible to promises made by the agencies based on pathos appeal to them, promising a guaranteed match, high success rate. Behaviour like these are unethical because such influences are...
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