Annals of online dating

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Penicillin, the genome, evolution and the Big Bang: these are the breakthroughs that shape our world.Today, new research published in the BMJ’s journal, Evidence Based Medicine, adds to that glittering pantheon.

What the report doesn’t mention: Real sex workers aren’t unheard of on dating sites, either.

One Tinder user in Brooklyn recently told me he sees profiles advertising sexual services frequently — he estimated one out of every 30 or 40 swipes.

To be fair, Tinder is far from the only dating site dealing with these kinds of issues; in fact, since the advent of Craigslist, the world’s oldest profession has been quick to adopt the world’s newest technologies whenever possible.

And tipping the scale ever-so-slightly on the creepy side, similarity breeds affection, so a user named “Hot4YOU” would be more likely to respond to someone with the related handle “Burning4YOU”.

“There is an opportunity to exploit the name-similarity effect by browsing extensively before registration, identifying profiled names of people who you find attractive, and then choosing a similar screen name,” the authors write.

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