FB Dating: Should you trust it with your secret crush?

 khaleejtimes.com  09/10/2019 22:01:00  4  Vicky Kapur (From the Executive Editor's desk)

Vicky Kapur (From the Executive Editor's desk)

Filed on September 11, 2019 | Last updated on September 11, 2019 at 06.20 am

It can't get better for all the secret admirers, lovebirds, and stalkers out there on Facebook. Late last week, the world's most popular social media platform officially announced the launch of Facebook Dating in 20 countries (not in the UAE, thankfully). "Facebook Dating makes it easier to find love through what you like - helping you start meaningful relationships through things you have in common, like interests, events and groups. It takes the work out of creating a dating profile and gives you a more authentic look at who someone is," said Nathan Sharp, Product Manager, Facebook Dating, in a blog post.

The app allows adult FB users to opt into a separate 'dating' profile with just their first name and age, with the platform then suggesting matches (excluding their FB friends) based on preferences, interests "and other things you do on Facebook." A user may still choose a person (or nine) from within their 'friends' circle by using the 'Secret Crush' feature but a match won't happen unless both users add each other to such a list. Sounds like a matchmaking site for singles. Feels like a matchmaking site for singles. Looks like a matchmaking site for singles. FB, however, maintains that it isn't so. "Facebook Dating isn't about swiping or having to wait for someone to like you to get a first chance at reaching out," it maintains.

What about its Achilles' heel, privacy? "We're committed to protecting people's privacy within Facebook Dating so that we can create a place where people feel comfortable looking for a date and starting meaningful relationships," said Erin Egan, FB's VP and Chief Privacy Officer, Public Policy, in a separate blog post. That sounds rich coming from the firm that gave away personal data of millions of users to be harvested by Cambridge Analytica and has been the poster-boy for data breaches and privacy scandals over the past decade. FB promises that this time will be different. But every time FB has made such a promise following a scandal, it has been overshadowed by an even bigger scandal, breach, leak or whatever. May you find love and happiness, but do be cognizant of the secrets you share with the platform while dating FB.

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