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August 24, 2012 6:17 PM Subscribe
I want to make a fake dating profile to do research. Is this unethical?
posted by mrfuga0 to Media & Arts (43 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I am a writer and I am writing a story right now that has some discussion about online dating and dating in general. After hearing a friend talk about online dating**I was curious to see who was on there, how people respond, etc. I then thought I might set up a profile to see how men respond to a particular character type.
I am married and I'm also a highly visible member of the community I live in (which is somewhat small). Obviously, I can't be on the site (or my photo can't). I was playing with the idea of setting up a fake profile with a stock photo. Is this unethical (I realize this is part of a larger question as to the ethics of immersive nonfiction, so lay that on me as well)? I could, after the initial contact, tell these men that I'm doing research. I'm most interested in how men would respond to, again, a particular type of woman which makes asking to look at someone else's profile more difficult.
**No, I can't ask this friend to let me see her profile because she has since stopped using the site and is a different personality from the profile I'd want to use for trolling.