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But Howard Rheingold, author of "The Virtual Community," believes the problem will diminish with time. There are people who do uncool things, [but] that's not the medium, that's a larger social issue." Meanwhile, several on-line groups have taken matters into their own hands.

Women's Wire penalizes repeat offenders by suspending their accounts.

Three chances to give it a shot before she made a judgement about whether or not she liked online dating. Rather than meeting good matches, she found herself with people she would never have decided to go out with if she had met them in person first, because they had nothing in common. Something about the context of online dating platforms just didn’t click with her.

What’s more, the amount of inappropriate and sometimes downright degrading messages she would get from guys was enough to turn her off dating services. The context felt too much like you were selling yourself to strangers. She decided to adopt a “just say yes” attitude–now, when opportunities for exciting and unusual experiences arose in real life, she would throw herself in head-first, just so see what happens.

If you live by that rule, chances are you are not going to have lots of explaining to do to anyone at anytime."Personally threatening e-mail messages should be against the law." Other women have reported similar incidents; some refused to identify themselves for fear of on-line retaliation.Though laws pertaining to phone threats likely extend to e-mail, they remain untested.She told her newfound friends that she did union work and was fairly new on the "net." "Are you married? Females who surf the Internet's vast, male-dominated network of computer databases or join in public discussions are often subjected to sexism and harassment--occurring most frequently in live chat and via "talk" requests where people can send private messages to anyone on-line at the same time. After apparently offending someone in an Internet newsgroup discussion, Stephanie Brail received an untraceable e-mail "bomb" containing hundreds of sexual and violent messages--the mildest of which was "Shut up, bitch." Brail is calling for action."It's against the law to harass people on the phone, in person, or in the mail," she says.Still, with so many other people in their twenties on dating apps, she figured she might as well give online dating a chance.


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