The social networking app, which has admitted to data breaches, will soon launch online dating for users. (Pic: iStock)
The social networking app, which has admitted to data breaches, will soon launch online dating for users. (Pic: iStock)

‘I found my ex living in my garage’

OH happy day, another avenue for abusers to masquerade as decent people.

Facebook will soon offer a dating feature and while founder Mark Zuckerberg is promising strong privacy protections, his track record on security stinks. Data leaks to Cambridge Analytica anyone?

But another reason to spend less time on the social media platform is the latest offering in online dating.

All too often, financially hopeless and morally bankrupt blokes on the wrong side of a midlife crisis are cracking on to successful but unsuspecting women using these platforms.

Think gold digging in Stubbies and thongs. Singlet optional.

Within weeks these opportunists manage to get keys to the house and all that's in it, with the woman relegated to a mere obstacle they might trip over, like the Persian rug they'll steal when they walk out and onto the next sucker.

These men can be charming and affectionate to start with, but they are ruthlessly cunning and cold.

Thankfully, I've not learned this through personal experience, but I've heard story after story of Queensland women in the prime of their careers being taken for a costly ride.

One woman, who runs her own business, kicked one of these bums out after cottoning on to his scheme, only to find him living in her garage several weeks later.

His excuse? He had nowhere to go. Like that's her problem?

Dating sites have always been a fertile hunting ground for creeps wanting to profit from other people's loneliness or gullibility, and that's not something Mark Zuckerberg or anyone else will be able to stop.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently spruiked the app’s new dating features. (Pic: Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently spruiked the app’s new dating features. (Pic: Marcio Jose Sanchez)

The internet tycoon insists the new feature will be about "building real, long-term relationships".

Yeah right.

"We have designed this with privacy and safety in mind from the beginning," he says.

"Your friends aren't going to see your profile, and you're only going to be suggested to people who are not your friends."

Even better. Stranger danger alert.

Joey Levin, CEO of IAC whose holdings include Tinder and OKCupid, has been quick to have a dig at the new competition.

"Come on in. The water's warm. Their product could be great for US-Russia relationships", quipped Levin, referring to how Russian-backed accounts on Facebook helped divide America during the 2016 presidential election.

Levin is in no position to talk. Tinder is far from transparent.

What dating sites have failed to do, with spectacular uniformity, is protect innocent people from getting hurt.

People shouldn't be so gullible, I hear you say. If they're stupid enough to get duped, so be it.

But let's not forget that for many people who are trying to find love or simply just companionship, the degree of loneliness or desperation they may feel will often override common sense or gut instinct.

Zuckerberg says he is motivated by helping the 200 million people on Facebook who list themselves as single find a mate.

Wrong. He is motivated by money, not unlike the con-artists who'll be flocking to the new feature.

They all get a thumbs down from me.

Kylie Lang is an associate editor of The Courier-Mail.



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