Detail of Manhunt.net
Type of site
|Online dating service|
|Available in||English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, German, Italian, Chinese, and Japanese.|
|Created by||Michael Yang|
|Alexa rank||2,418 (March 2014[update])|
Manhunt.net is a social networking website operated by Online Buddies, Inc., that facilitates male same-sex introductions. It is owned by its founders, Jonathan Crutchley and Larry Basile. Michael Yang is the current founder owner of the online gay dating website. The site has over 4 million profiles worldwide, over 1 million of which are in the United States. They are headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.
The official launch of Manhunt was April 1, 2001. Originally a telephone dating service limited to the Boston area, business declined when more men began to go online to find partners. According to Crutchley:
We decided if the business was going to continue in the long run we needed to create a website, have guys use the website, and, if it was going to be successful, get them to pay to use the website...The potential’s global, and we’ve reached the tipping point now where there are more subscribers outside the U.S. than in the U.S.
The web site allows profiles from any country, and is available in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, German, Italian, Chinese, and Japanese. Both manhunt.net and the legacy site Manhunt.jp (マンハント.jp Manhanto dotto jēpī) serve Japan. As of December 2006, an independent tracking agency ranked Manhunt as the largest LGBT-targeted site online, surpassing long-time leader Gay.com.
On Nov. 13, 2013, Online Buddies announced the acquisition of Jack'd, one of the leading location-based gay dating apps. Jack'd had over 2 million active accounts and about 1 million daily unique users when the acquisition deal was signed. Manhunt plans to keep Jack'd a separate product from Manhunt.net.
In mid 2008, Manhunt made video chat available to members after popular request.
In early 2009, Manhunt released its first major upgrade in 7 years. The upgrade modernized the site's look and feel and included many sought after features, like the addition of penis length to members' profiles and sexual position preferences.
Some profiles are specifically not designated as primarily sexually oriented and explicitly state that they are not cruising for sex. However the majority are sexually explicit and include nude photographs and graphic language and by patrons that are seeking to hook up.
In 2008, Manhunt launched OnTheHUNT, a sister site dedicated to filming and hosting actual Manhunt members having sex. Compared to similar sites, the average lengths of videos are longer. The model demographics are more varied because it depends on interested members and with whom they wish to meet. Instead of gay-for-pay models, the site uses out members as models.
Manhunt.net partners with hundreds of community health organizations worldwide under their Manhunt Cares brand. Each partner has a Manhunt Cares approved health profile, and the organizations' ads appear on the site alongside members' personal postings. Many of these are partner notification profiles serve as anonymous intermediaries that allow members to inform each other when they may have come in contact with an STD. One advocate at a center run by the AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts was quoted in the Boston Herald as saying "In comparison to lots of other sites, it's light-years ahead."
Nevertheless, Manhunt does not prohibit members from advertising a preference for unsafe sex practices through phrases such as “bareback only.” Manhunt provides a chat room titled "bareback" for people interested in unsafe sex. Manhunt also features advertising banners of porn websites that promote bareback sex, and promotes bareback porn via its Manhunt Blog. Manhunt's general manager told New York Magazine:
It all boils down to personal choice. We believe that people have the right to PNP or not to PNP, to use condoms or not use condoms. What we hope is that people will back up their choices with responsible behavior. We provided an empty site and our customers have filled it. But the majority of them don’t PNP or bareback [...] what we hope is that people will back up their choices with responsible behavior.
The commander of the Washington, D.C., Police Gay & Lesbian Liaison Unit said "We've definitely seen an increase in online dating crimes in the past five years," and added that victims of internet dating crimes are "overwhelmingly men cruising for sex." He also noted that criminals are often technologically savvy and create profiles using fake information and other people's photos, making them difficult to trace. Manhunt's general manager said the company is limited in how it can respond to incidents because of liability and privacy issues: "We get phone calls from all types of people making all kinds of claims...We could be put in a liable position if someone's accusations are not substantiated."
In one case, a Richmond, Virginia, school board chairman's Manhunt profile was discovered by a Richmond Times-Dispatch reporter. This led to the chairman's resignation as chairman, although he remained a board member and expressed that "he displayed an inappropriate lack of judgment." Accounts of the incident seemed to indicate that the chairman's resignation was a result of a perceived breach of decorum rather than a violation of any law or ethical standard.
Jonathan Crutchley, co-founder of Manhunt, resigned from the company's board after it was revealed that he had made a $2300 contribution to John McCain's presidential campaign in March 2008. In February 2009, Crutchley was appointed Chairman of Manhunt.net's Philanthropy Committee, and remains one of its owners.
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