As if the dating world were not mired in lies and deceptions already…
The Wall Street Journal today audits various online dating sites’ claims of producing “12 marriages a day” and the like — and says the websites have been cooking their books!
“Self-reported data — even the most joyous kind — cannot and should not be represented as statistically valid,” says Herb Vest, chief executive and founder of dating site True.com.
A rare industry whistleblower!
The story also sheds doubt on the claim currently made by eHarmony in commercials airing in the UK and Australia that it is responsible for 2% of the marriages that occurred in America last year.
EHarmony has twice commissioned studies from Harris Interactive to estimate the dating site’s impact on marriages. The first, in 2005, found that 90 people a day married because of the site. The second, conducted in 2007, found that the number had surged to 236. Using centres for Disease Control and Prevention data on marriages, eHarmony estimated that it could claim credit for 2% of marriages in the country.
Of course, all this was extrapolated from an online survey, and who actually participates in online surveys about their online love lives? We have no idea, but we are pretty sure the results are not “scientific.” Nevertheless, eHarmony’s findings seem a lot more credible than some of their industry competitors.
And Markus Frind, chief executive and founder of Plenty of Fish, doesn’t advertise about marriages, but says his site brings about 100,000 marriages a year, a figure based in part on “some study I found online.”
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