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Thread: Fake identity in Tinder, should it be a crime

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    Fake identity in Tinder, should it be a crime

    Commonly known as "catfishing", a woman, Anna Rowe wants the law changed or a new law to deal with this problem;

    On Tuesday, As It Happens spoke with Irina Manta, a law professor at New York's Hofstra University, who proposed a law that would impose a legal penalty on people who make substantial lies on dating apps, like a person's marital status, that result in sex. On Wednesday, Rowe spoke with As It Happens host Carol Off about her personal experience. Here is part of that conversation.
    Ms Rowe sees a profile on Tinder she likes, a divorcee father and after some back and forth on Tinder with him, she meets him in person and starts a relationship soon after. She believes him to be divorced and working away a lot. In reality, he's a cad, playing several women and his wife.

    So a little over a year later, months and months of involvement with him including a personal relationship, you learned all that wasn't true, right?

    Yeah, that's right. For the first three months of our relationship ... I was being groomed.

    I think I am in agreement with Ms Rowe.

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    This could really clog up the courts. Doesn't everyone sort of lie, or at least withhold information, to some degree when it comes to dating? Its hard to know where you would draw the line....very subjective. If you want to date a blonde, and you find out after 6 months that she's a brunette who dyes her hair blonde, does that count?

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    Quote Originally Posted by thebeave View Post
    This could really clog up the courts. Doesn't everyone sort of lie, or at least withhold information, to some degree when it comes to dating? Its hard to know where you would draw the line....very subjective. If you want to date a blonde, and you find out after 6 months that she's a brunette who dyes her hair blonde, does that count?
    That's not the issue here. The issue is when the person says they are divorced but they are not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TSwizzle View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by thebeave View Post
    This could really clog up the courts. Doesn't everyone sort of lie, or at least withhold information, to some degree when it comes to dating? Its hard to know where you would draw the line....very subjective. If you want to date a blonde, and you find out after 6 months that she's a brunette who dyes her hair blonde, does that count?
    That's not the issue here. The issue is when the person says they are divorced but they are not.
    But what prevents someone from doing that in person? Iow, why does the fact that it's an app have any bearing on the issue?

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    Quote Originally Posted by TSwizzle View Post
    Commonly known as "catfishing", a woman, Anna Rowe wants the law changed or a new law to deal with this problem;

    On Tuesday, As It Happens spoke with Irina Manta, a law professor at New York's Hofstra University, who proposed a law that would impose a legal penalty on people who make substantial lies on dating apps, like a person's marital status, that result in sex. On Wednesday, Rowe spoke with As It Happens host Carol Off about her personal experience. Here is part of that conversation.
    Ms Rowe sees a profile on Tinder she likes, a divorcee father and after some back and forth on Tinder with him, she meets him in person and starts a relationship soon after. She believes him to be divorced and working away a lot. In reality, he's a cad, playing several women and his wife.

    So a little over a year later, months and months of involvement with him including a personal relationship, you learned all that wasn't true, right?

    Yeah, that's right. For the first three months of our relationship ... I was being groomed.

    I think I am in agreement with Ms Rowe.
    I broadly agree too. I think the key term is 'substantial lies'. One would hope that a law, if enacted, could make reasonable distinction about this, which could for example involve the aggrieved person showing that demonstrable harm was done.

    However, if there was such a law for Tinder, wouldn't it also need to apply away from Tinder as well, which I belatedly see that koy already mentioned?

    I'd be ok with it, in principle, if some reasonable definition of 'substantial' was involved, both for the lies and the adverse outcome. For less than substantial, I'd fall back on a version of caveat emptor.

    Marrying the liar would make him a bigamist which I think is already a crime. I'm close to saying that having sex with them in similar (fraudulent) circumstances should be actionable also.

    Here in NI (and possibly elsewhere for all I know) there are cases involving undercover male police officers who duped a woman, in each separate case, into a long term relationship, several years, for job purposes, and the women (I think there's been more than one case) are claiming, quite understandably. I'm not sure how the cases turned out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Koyaanisqatsi View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by TSwizzle View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by thebeave View Post
    This could really clog up the courts. Doesn't everyone sort of lie, or at least withhold information, to some degree when it comes to dating? Its hard to know where you would draw the line....very subjective. If you want to date a blonde, and you find out after 6 months that she's a brunette who dyes her hair blonde, does that count?
    That's not the issue here. The issue is when the person says they are divorced but they are not.
    But what prevents someone from doing that in person? Iow, why does the fact that it's an app have any bearing on the issue?
    Because there are "terms of use" with these apps. Although Tinder cannot be held liable, it is proposed that the individual that presents themselves falsely should be held to account. And why not extend it generally where people behave this way ?

    Anyway, the way Ms Rowe sees it, it is a type of sexual assault. She did not consent to have a sexual relationship with a married man, she did not get that choice. She was duped and I think she has a fair point.

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    Yeah, being married is a legal status, that legally prevent any other woman from marrying the person and which means the married persons assets are not legally their own.
    Lying about one's legal status and legal commitments that legally impact the other party seems a rather clear cut place to "draw the line".

    As to why only on dating app sites, it isn't about it being a dating app per se, but that it is a written public record of the lie, making it easy to prove that the lie was told, unlike a verbal statement.

    Alternatively to it being a crime, it could just be made strong grounds for a civil suit, more akin to breach of a legal contract.

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    Contributor ruby sparks's Avatar
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    My advice to anyone considering doing it would just be, if you're married and cheating, even if you go on tinder, just say upfront, at the top of your profile, that you're married. It's surely what Jesus would have done in similar circumstances, and Jordan Peterson, if he ever did it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TSwizzle View Post
    Because there are "terms of use" with these apps.
    So you think "Thou shalt not lie" is going to stop someone from lying? It hasn't worked for God, why would it work for Tinder?

    Although Tinder cannot be held liable, it is proposed that the individual that presents themselves falsely should be held to account.
    Then what was your point about Tinder's TOS if they can't be held liable?

    And why not extend it generally where people behave this way ?
    Well, again, it's not like the app created adultery or lying. People have been lying to other people since people first began.

    Anyway, the way Ms Rowe sees it, it is a type of sexual assault. She did not consent to have a sexual relationship with a married man, she did not get that choice.
    Again, just remove the app from the equation. The two met at a bar and he lied to her. Is that still a type of "sexual assault"?

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by ronburgundy View Post
    Yeah, being married is a legal status, that legally prevent any other woman from marrying the person and which means the married persons assets are not legally their own.
    Lying about one's legal status and legal commitments that legally impact the other party seems a rather clear cut place to "draw the line".

    As to why only on dating app sites, it isn't about it being a dating app per se, but that it is a written public record of the lie, making it easy to prove that the lie was told, unlike a verbal statement.

    Alternatively to it being a crime, it could just be made strong grounds for a civil suit, more akin to breach of a legal contract.
    Which is why the spouse is the actual wronged party and is entitled for compensation accordingly. There is no like legal contract between two people in a bar (or on an app or the like).

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    Super Moderator Bronzeage's Avatar
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    The ghost of William F, Buckley just materialized and asked what the government's interest in this particular issue might be.

    If a person uses false pretenses to obtain a legally binding contract, there are laws which deal with this problem. If a person lies while under oath, there are laws for that, as well.

    Unfortunately, unless information shared over the internet is classified as interstate commerce, the Federal Government has no overriding need to intervene in romantic affairs. There was a time in this country when adultery and other sex acts outside of a legally binding marriage were crimes. We've gotten away from that.

    Any person who enters into an intimate relationship with someone, is responsible for the due diligence of determining they are who they present themselves to be.

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