Two of our state’s finest, Rep. Diane Patrick (R-Arlington) and Sen. Leticia Van de Putte (D-San Antonio) have teamed up to protect you and yours from online dating services. Because you never know who is on the other end of that keyboard, do you? Hmm?
Today’s exercise in reading idiotic bills brings us HB 1052 and SB 488, filed by Rep. Patrick and Sen. Van de Putte respectively. The bills would require any online dating service that does do criminal background checks to state so in bold print and outlines what checks must be made. They also require any online dating service that does not do criminal background checks to state so in bold print. Awesome, no? Feel safe already, don’t you? And just to make certain that you feel better, the bills provide for a $250 penalty for each registered member if they don’t boldly state what their criminal background check policy is. You’re feeling even safer now, aren’t you? Whip out that mouse and get to clicking, that magic partner is out there somewhere.
But wait! There’s more!
Because the plain truth is that you can never really be safe in this society, right? Don’t worry, the bills recognize that and will require a “Safety Awareness Notification” in addition to the other notification. The two stellar legislators even include sample copy to use:
Sec. 106.006. SAFETY AWARENESS DISCLOSURE BY ALL PROVIDERS. An online dating service provider that offers services to residents of this state shall clearly and conspicuously provide a safety awareness notification on the provider’s Internet website that includes a list and description of safety measures reasonably designed to increase awareness of safer online dating practices. Examples of the safety awareness notification include the following statements or substantially similar statements:
(1) “Anyone who is able to commit identity theft can also falsify a dating profile.”;
(2) “There is no substitute for acting with caution when communicating with any stranger who wants to meet you.”;
(3) “Never include your last name, e-mail address, home address, phone number, place of work, or any other identifying information in your Internet profile or initial e-mail messages. Stop communicating with anyone who pressures you for personal or financial information or attempts in any way to trick you into revealing it.”; and
(4) “If you choose to have a face-to-face meeting with another member, always tell someone in your family or a friend where you are going and when you will return. Never agree to be picked up at your home. Always provide your own transportation to and from your date and meet in a public place with many people around.”
It’s bad enough that a Democratic Senator would file junk bills but it feels like a body rub with sandpaper to read that a Republican Representative would join in.
I propose that Rep. Patrick’s punishment for filing this drivel be that she has to wade through the laws of the State of Texas, find ten similar requirements that have already been enacted, and then file bills for each to repeal them.
Small government Republicans. Sheesh.