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Over 50% of research participants in a 2011 study did not view online dating as a dangerous activity, whereas 43% thought that online dating involved risk.Because online dating takes place in virtual space, it is possible for profile information to be misrepresented or falsified.Most services also encourage members to add photos or videos to their profile.Once a profile has been created, members can view the profiles of other members of the service, using the visible profile information to decide whether or not to initiate contact.Other sites target highly specific demographics based on features like shared interests, location, religion, or relationship type.Online dating services also differ widely in their revenue streams.Profiles created by real humans also have the potential to be problematic.For example, online dating sites may expose more female members in particular to stalking, fraud, and sexual violence by online predators.
The stigma associated with online dating dropped over the years and people view online dating more positively.
Still others rely solely on paid membership subscriptions.
Opinions and usage of online dating services also differ widely.
The 2016 Pew Research Center's survey reveals that the usage of online dating sites by American adults increased from 9% in 2013, to 12% in 2015.
Further, during this period, the usage among 18- to 24-year-olds tripled, while that among 55- to 65-year-olds doubled.