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>I watched the new recently and heard the story of a woman who was suing Match.com because she went on a date and was sexually assaulted.  After, she googled the man’s name and quickly found that he was a repeat sex offender.  She’s suing because she feels that Match.com should have some sort of screening process for it’s participants.  Why is this Match.com’s fault? 

It is without a doubt a tragedy that this woman was sexually assaulted and there is no excuse for the man who committed it.  However, if it was that easy for the woman to search online and find that this man was a criminal, couldn’t she have done it in the first place?  Is it up to the people using online dating to do their homework ahead of time?  What if it was a blind date set up by a friend.  Would the person sue a friend because they didn’t know how the blind date would really end up?

The news ticker on the morning show I watch said today that Match.com will begin removing users who are on the national registry of sex offenders.  Certainly, this is a good thing, as it will help to prevent some similar crimes.  However, it will not eliminate people who are not on the registry or those who falsify their personal information.  Some prevention is better than none at all, but does the result of what happened to this woman the fault of the company?  Is it their gross oversight or simply a horrible incident?  What about the justice system?  How much are they to blame that this person who committed the crime has a recorded past of similar behavior, but is out free on the streets?  Shouldn’t the justice system be sued, too?

While I question the law suit itself, the point of my commentary really lies in a more basic thought.  (Please read what I write outside of the above context).  I believe people need to take more ownership of information.  Believing what we read or see online without deeper thought or research can, have and will continue to mislead us.  We cannot always rely on the honesty of those who participate in the online community.  We need to take responsibility for our own actions and perform our own due diligence. 

Accidents, incidents and tragedies will happen.  It is a component of life.  Take steps to look for information yourself, rather rely only on what is placed before you.  You may not always know what you manage to avoid, but you will certainly be more in control of your life.

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