It was only a matter of time before someone on the internet would try to take advantage of the people who spend time spamming, sexually harassing and generally wasting the time of their peers by starting a site intended to prevent those people from doing their worst. That product is called Mesh.
A New York City-based startup whose product is still in "pre-beta," Mesh Labs Inc. says their goal is to "[m]ake online dating enjoyable and trustworthy again!" Whether online dating (or dating in general) was ever enjoyable and trustworthy to begin with is another question, but according to Mesh, it should be. Launched this past fall, the site purportedly allows you to prevent "creepy and sleazy messages, stalkers, overly aggressive types" etc. from being people you have to reject before you get to the good stuff.
Mesh does this through a series of features:
- They siphon messages with "vulgarity, text-speak, poor grammar/spelling, and copy-and-pasted messages" into a "Mismatch folder"
- They require people who want to contact you to correctly answer the "Dealbreaker" questions you've set up
- They have very specific privacy settings
They're also ad free. (Mesh is also free to use, so it's a little confusing how they plan to to make any money doing this long-term, but perhaps that's their problem and not ours.)
"The current crop of free online dating sites are broken," founder and CEO Asher Snyder said in a press release put out last week. "Harassment and undesirable vulgarity runs unchecked while quality messages get lost in the shuffle, leaving many women with a negative experience." They've gotten the attention of popular Twitter personality @literalporn, who has said she's repping them.
They also want Mesh to be a place for everyone. In a post on their blog, co-founder Yeni Sleidi writes that as a queer woman starting a dating site, she wanted to make it crystal clear "that Mesh doesn't put anyone in a box." Sleidi claims that the site is "the first to allow our queer and transgender members to be true to themselves," explaining that on Mesh, you can specifically identify as queer or transgender instead of just a woman looking for a woman or a man looking for a man.
Mesh is not even close to the first company to consider taking advantage of their rival's missteps in marketing their own product, or even the first to specifically target people who are frustrated with online dating specifically. But considering the number of competitors they have out there, it'll take a lot of annoyed people living in the TriState area to get this better way of living to go mainstream, before there's any proof that it works.
Image via Mesh