december 2010, a new york state law called the "internet dating safety act" (s5180-a) went into effect that requires online dating sites with customers in new york state to warn users not to disclose personal information to people they do not know. such sites earn revenue from a mix of advertising and sale of additional options. all features on connecting singles are without charges, fees, credits, coupons or surprises and with no hidden fees. free dating websites depend on advertising revenue, using tools such as google adsense and affiliate marketing. emergence of dating sites that promote adultery, such as ashley madison, has stirred some controversy.
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however, sam yagan describes dating sites as ideal advertising platforms because of the wealth of demographic data made available by users. furthermore, different functionalities may be offered to members who have paid or not paid for subscriptions, resulting in some confusion around who can view or contact whom. the end of november 2004, there were 844 lifestyle and dating sites, a 38% increase since the start of the year, according to hitwise inc. "15% of american adults have used online dating sites or mobile dating apps". this shows that women are genuinely more picky than men when it comes to appearance on online dating websites.