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Like the Internet today, lonely hearts ads were suspected of harboring all sort of scams and perversities.Because they were often used by homosexuals and sex workers, British police continued to prosecute those who placed personals until the late 1960s, when ads became part of the burgeoning youth counterculture. In 1965, a team of Harvard undergrads created Operation Match, the world's first computer dating service.

#Shamelessly Seeking Sugar Momma...) 1700s: Personal Ads for Homosexual Safety Personal ads were one of the only ways for the gay and lesbian communities to meet discreetly and safely at this time.

Hardly a week goes by without another new think piece about online dating either revolutionizing society or completely ruining our ability to have real relationships.

But these hyperbolic pronouncements miss a deeper fact: At its core, "online dating" isn't something we just started doing 5, 10 or even 20 years ago.

Even before the Web itself, bulletin boards and newsgroups hosted a variety of ways people could use technology to meet others with similar interests, including dating.

Services such as America Online, Prodigy and eventually Craigslist offered chat rooms, forums and online classifieds of use to singles.

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