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Carrot Dating wants you to bribe your way into a date

Would you go on a date with someone if they bribed you? Carrot Dating is hoping you will – and it has built an online dating site to test it out.

Screen Shot 2013-10-25 at 1.58.27 PMOnline dating sites are two a penny, these days. There's one for all types of user: Christians, older folks, younger folks, married people who want a bit on the side, and people who don't want a long-term meaningful relationship, but wouldn't mind a one-night stand. But Carrot Dating has to be the first one that openly encourages people to buy each other's time.

Users of the mobile app scan through the available profiles until they see someone they like (and the emphasis seems to be on visuals; the promotional material talks about bribing the "beautiful people" to go on a date).

When the user finds someone they like the look of, they can send them an "incentive", in the form of an invitation to dinner, or chocolates, flowers, or perhaps a shopping trip. By sending the incentive, they are promising to pay. The other user then decides if they want to accept.

Is an app that promotes paying someone for a date a good idea? Doesn't it debase everyone, by basing a date on how much someone will pay, rather than on how likeable they are, or how good a conversationalist they can be? Isn't it, in other words, a way to teach nerds who can't talk to people that they can get a date simply by waving money at someone?

What do you think? Would you take an electronic bribe in exchange for a date? And in general, when you go on a date, who pays?

Danny Bradbury, MSN Tech & Gadgets



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Danny BradburyDanny Bradbury

Danny Bradbury is a technology journalist with 20 years' experience. He writes regularly for publications including the Guardian, the Financial Times, the Financial Post, and Backbone magazine. Danny also writes and directs documentaries.

Maurice CachoMaurice Cacho

Maurice Cacho is a Toronto-based journalist mixing his love for tech with a passion for news. He's also CP24's Web Journalist and appears daily on CP24 Breakfast and weekly on the channel's tech show, Webnation, discussing tech news and trends.