Video: Clicking for Mr. Right

msnbc.com
updated 9/26/2006 10:27:10 AM ET 2006-09-26T14:27:10

There's a whole new generation of online dating websites out there.

Forget Dr. Phil. People don't want advice. They want cold, hard facts about their potential new mate. Before you even bother sitting down for that first latte together, try reading the testimonials and reviews at a site like dontdatehimgirl.com, or better yet--just run a background check on the guy!

“The Most,” a show that airs weekdays at 3 p.m. ET interviewed Sarah Langbein from the Orlando Sentinel, who reported on the new tell-all trend in online dating.

“The Most”: How did you come across the idea for the story?

Sarah Langbein, Orlando Sentinel: I was on the crime beat in Colorado prior to getting this job at the Sentinel and I had a friend who was dating someone and who thought there was something suspicious about him. He was never around on the weekends so she had a police officer friend check on him and she found out that he was on weekend arrest.

“Most”: What are these websites like?

Langbein: Dontdatehimgirl.com is one of the first and maybe the biggest, but there are other smaller sites who actually employ private investigators. But Dontdatehimgirl.com gives users the ability to post and search these people on their own.

“Most”: What reactions do users have to the sites?

Langbein: It's a mixed bag. A lot of people thought that the idea was funny and some say they wish they would have done that before I dated so and so. But the flip side is that it can destroy a person's reputation. The information is on the Internet forever, potential employers could Google you and get that kind of information.

“Most”: So there's a real downside to this?

Langbein: There is a detrimental side, yes. Sometimes people post in the heat of the moment when they may not be thinking straight. Also there are usually two sides to a story. If you make these statements on the Internet, the accused party really has two options. They can respond to the accusation over the Internet, or they can not respond at all. That is sometimes perceived as an admission of guilt, but perhaps people don't want to air their dirty laundry in such a public way. It can be a tough situation for the accused.

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