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Some sites are completely free and depend on advertising for revenue.

Others utilize the freemium revenue model, offering free registration and use, with optional, paid, premium services.

Profiles created by real humans also have the potential to be problematic.

For example, online dating sites may expose more female members in particular to stalking, fraud, and sexual violence by online predators.

Over 50% of research participants in a 2011 study did not view online dating as a dangerous activity, whereas 43% thought that online dating involved risk.

Because online dating takes place in virtual space, it is possible for profile information to be misrepresented or falsified.

While some sites conduct background checks on members, many do not, resulting in some uncertainty around members' identities.

For instance, some profiles may not represent real humans but rather "bait profiles" placed online by site owners to attract new paying members, or "spam profiles" created by advertisers to market services and products.

The stigma associated with online dating dropped over the years and people view online dating more positively.Further, the 2016 Pew Research Center's survey reveals that the usage of online dating sites by American adults increased from 9% in 2013, to 12% in 2015.Further, during this period, the usage among 18- to 24-year-olds tripled, while that among 55- to 65-year-olds doubled.Such sites earn revenue from a mix of advertising and sale of additional options.This model also allows users to switch between free and paying status at will, with sites accepting a variety of online currencies and payment options.