Free Food And Online Dating…. Is There A Connection?

In an earlier blog post, I lamented the failure of the world’s prevalent economic systems to account for the intangibles that should truly define progress. Thanks to Baljit W., I’ve been alerted to this website, which strives to redefine progress in terms of ecological footprints. I leave it to the more diligent among you to sort through the details.

Continuing on the rubber chicken circuit (or, more precisely, the rubber samosa circuit), last night I attended yet another diwali celebration on Parliament Hill. The things I do for free food! And yes, I will continue to do much for free food. In fact, back in the glory days of The Podium, we used to maintain a specific web page just to list events where people could get free food. The page is cached here.

While I no longer maintain that page, I’m still interested in eating for free. So if you know of any such events in my neck of the woods, do let me know. I don’t just show up and stuff myself, you know. I bring friends; we chat with people; we make the event seem important. Consider it a social service.

Now, on an entirely different topic, I’m open about the fact that I have used online dating services. Heck, in this day and age, who hasn’t? For busy single people, it’s the most efficient and comfortable way to meet potential romantic partners. However, there have been some disturbing developments lately in the world of online dating.

First comes the news story that is being sued by a patron for supposedly getting employees to pose as singles and lure lonely people into memberships and fake dates.

Second, the same article contends that Yahoo!Personals used fake profiles to lure people into using its services. This is actually fairly well known. Anyone who’s ever browsed the Yahoo!Personals site can immediately identify impossibly beautiful women with glamour photos, whose profiles are thinly disguised fictions.

Now comes this barely noticed change in the terms of agreement:

“You agree to grant Lavalife a license for the right to use any images*, text* or recordings* you posted in any advertising campaigns, marketing materials or on third party advertising mediums.”

Ignore the bad grammar for a moment. Lavalife now retains the right to post your photo and profile in its marketing materials, with no remuneration or notification to you. This is, of course, utter bullshit. They are invading the privacy of vulnerable people, many of whom have turned to them after assurances of privacy and anonymity. I for one will never again use a service with such a policy. Will you?