In the public domain?

weeziepops 9 October 2009 11

I was at the Hughes shops this morning waiting for a shop to open and perusing the notice board as I did so. Someone had pinned up a print-out of a person’s profile from an internet dating site, helpfully amending some of the particulars (eg: adding a few years to the age provided). It made me wonder if the person whose profile it was had any grounds for being peeved about this. She had already put her information “in the public domain” by posting it on the internet, so is the posting of the same information on a public notice board likely to upset her? Because I reckon I would be p*%e#d!

What do others think? Are you “fair game” once you have put it out there on the www?

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11 Responses to In the public domain?
Grail Grail 12:41 pm 12 Oct 09

For the victim of the poster in question, my condolences – that kind of harassment is never fun =(

For people using dating sites: don’t lie about your age, height, body shape, number of children, relationship status, smoking habit or drinking/not-drinking/binge-drinking habits. People find that stuff out quickly, y’know.

eyeLikeCarrots: Internet spaceships FTW 🙂

barking toad barking toad 5:22 pm 10 Oct 09


eyeLikeCarrots eyeLikeCarrots 11:08 am 10 Oct 09

sexynotsmart said :

Does she like Firefly, nights on the town and hotel sheets?

If so, could you please pass my details to her. Thank you.

Isint it weird that its 11AM on Saturday and here I am watching Firefly and playing a game about spaceships on the Internet ?

Felix the Cat Felix the Cat 9:58 pm 09 Oct 09

“If you like Pina Coladas, and getting caught in the rain.
If you’re not into yoga, if you have half-a-brain.
If you like making love at midnight, in the dunes of the cape.
You’re the love that I’ve looked for, come with me, and escape.”

People should think more before they post their personal details on the web – especially if they are going to “exagerate” some of the details about themselves. It’s virtually the same as posting it on the noticeboard at the local shop.

Mothy – why wouldn’t the person want the local community to know she is looking for love? There might be a match made in Heaven living in the next street. The only reason I can see they wouldn’t want locals to know is they may have stretched the truth about some of their profile details, in which case I reckon they deserve to be outed. How would you feel if you hooked up with someone through one of these online dating sites and found they were different to what they claimed to be on there? What else are they lying about? Are they a habitual liar? Relationship is not off to a good start IMO.

sexynotsmart sexynotsmart 8:39 pm 09 Oct 09

Does she like Firefly, nights on the town and hotel sheets?

If so, could you please pass my details to her. Thank you.

skinkles skinkles 7:53 pm 09 Oct 09

It is stalking – an it’s really quite simple to impersonate someone, cause them public humiliation and ruin their life. Believe me when I say, I am speaking from experience. The people or person respsonsible deserves to have their head kicked in.

Pandy Pandy 7:27 pm 09 Oct 09

Do it twice and it is stalking

georgesgenitals georgesgenitals 4:47 pm 09 Oct 09

If you post it on the web, it’s public domain.

Clown Killer Clown Killer 3:47 pm 09 Oct 09

I would imagine that the dating website would require you to join in order to view others profiles, and in turn that by posting a profile you were doing so in the knowledge that it would be only available to others who had subscribed to that website (and accepted the terms and conditions of that site). I think that whilst virtual places like dating sites and even sites like Face Book appear at first blush like public domains or viryual public places, they are actually highly regulated private domains (albeit enourmously populated ones).

So putting up someones profile from such a site on a public noticeboard would probably be an infringement of privacy, but the annonymity of the person placing the profile there would make pursuing those rights difficult.

Mothy Mothy 3:04 pm 09 Oct 09

It is not a case where you are “fair game” once you put a profile on an online dating site.

There is a difference between the actions of the person who put their profile online and the actions of the person who amended the profile and put it up at the local shops;

1. The first probably used a “username” or “handle” instead of their own name.

2. They did not put their profile up at the local shops – no one wants to advertise themselves to their community as a lonely heart. They instead used a targeted website to try to find people who might be looking for similar things.

Rather than pissed though, I’d actually find the actions of the person who amended the profile and posted it at the local shops quite intimidating and potentially threatening.

Most likely they are someone that has had contact with the victim before – either an ex who isn’t happy to see their partner looking for a new flame, or a spurned potential partner from the same site.

Either way, it’s a none-too-subtle way of saying they know where the original poster lives, and they’re out to make life difficult for them.

Advice if using such sites – Naturally, never use your real name, never disclose your address or personal contact details, and ideally set up an e-mail address that you will be prepared to jettison if someone doesn’t take the hint.

You can also set your profile such that the picture is only visible after you authorize it (via providing a password). Downside to that is, on some sites that’s the way cheating partners are able to hide that they’re on the prowl.

Pseudo Nym Pseudo Nym 1:26 pm 09 Oct 09

Legally, no. Practically, yes.

Any dating site (or even just facebook et. al.) should have a terms of use relating to rights in both posting information and using the information. Further, there are common law protections such as a reasonable expectation of privacy and disclosure of information not ‘in the public interest.’

Practically however, the annonymity associated with most transgressions make them infeasible to prosecute by ordinary people. Don’t put anything on the web, ever, unless you are prepared to have it found by friends, family, employers and enemies.

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