THE BACHELOR WHO CAN’T HELP BUT LISTEN TO STEVIE WANTS TO HANG OUT IN BED WITH YOU, THE BEARDED MAN

Me: post-grad, tall, slender, breakfast aficionado, bespectacled Michigan-Virginia-NYC transplant with a penchant for spending Sunday afternoons tucked inside sweaters, or talking to a Stevie Nicks record over a concoction of cardamom pods; revels in voracious daydreams, opaque paint, and Oxford commas.

You: handsome and bright (scruff encouraged) with an appreciation for whiskey, kitschy witchcraft, poached eggs, and the unfathomable merits of “bed” (as both notion and lexical item).

In which we ask a former n+1 intern and recent harvard law school grad how much trouble we could get the editors into:

[Obviously, I am not your lawyer, let alone a lawyer at all just yet, and this is just an idle brainstorm, not legal advice.]

Anyway, to me, there are two preliminary issues:

1) Are the interns agents of n+1?

Principals (e.g. employers) are vicariously liable for the torts of their agents (e.g. employees), as long as the tort was committed during and in the scope of the agency. Conceivably, if you were sued, you could argue that n+1 can’t be liable for the interns’ torts, because either a) they’re not your agents, or b) the personals stuff wasn’t in the scope of their agency. The fact that you don’t pay the interns is the best/only thing you have going for you here, though, and given how intertwined n+1 is with this personals site, the no-agent argument probably wouldn’t fly.

2) Is Section 230 relevant?

You know all about the CDA. If the interns are more-or-less passive conduits, giving these ads titles and posting them on Tumblr, they/you can’t be treated as the speaker of the info, and thus you’re safe from any claim based on the content of the ad itself. But this isn’t what you’re interested in.

Rather, the idea is that someone gets sexually assaulted on one of these sad young literary dates, right? In that case, the victim would most likely sue you on a simple common-law negligence theory, claiming that in some way (e.g. failing to screen) n+1 breached the standard of due care that any person/entity owes to the people its actions would foreseeably affect.

Now, negligence cases are notoriously fact- and jury-dependent. And to find any settled principles of law for cases like this would require at least a couple hours researching relevant state cases (which, even if I felt like doing, would require access to databases I no longer have). I did, however, just read about a case in which a woman in California sued Match.com after a “match” with a history of sexual offenses sexually assaulted her on a date. According to the really poorly drafted complaint, the claim was based on a California consumer protection statute that appears to basically incorporate a negligence standard into the state code. As a result of the lawsuit, Match.com announced a policy where they’d check members against a sex offenders registry, and the case promptly settled. Who knows what would’ve happened in court.

So, what to do? I think a relevant analogy here is to premise liability cases, where somebody gets hurt because of some condition on somebody else’s property (like a loose cabinet) and then sues the owner on a negligence theory. A lot of states have byzantine distinctions to determine what duty the owner owed (New York doesn’t anymore), but the bottom line across the board is that the owner could have avoided liability if he’d fixed the problem or clearly warned about it. Along those lines, it would definitely not hurt to add a caveat dater making clear that you don’t do any sort of background checks on these folks and so on.

What a surprise, a bunch of legal ink spilled for a common-sense conclusion!

THE STANDARD ISSUE NORTH BROOKLYN MALE WITH SELLING POINTS

Me: thirty-one, available, humanities doctoral reject-turned-technologist. Standard issue North Brooklyn male (cf. beard, tattoos, single-speed, feelings, Tumblr). Likes: wine, Baudelaire, girls with top knots, Marx, early nineties Matador bands. Dislikes: Clive James, the Austrian School, Kreayshawn, Cartesian subjectivity, Thought Catalog. Selling points: great in the kitchen, can fix your computer, understands all the math in Badiou.
You: a woman, available, thinks Rancière is underrated, blushes after accidentally using words like “qua” in polite conversation, doesn’t “get” Jonathan Franzen or brunch culture or Bradley Cooper’s sex appeal, good at remembering to bring an umbrella, capable of loving a man who spends Sunday afternoons watching football with his eight-pound Chihuahua.

OCCUPYWALLSTREET MISSED CONNECTION: BOY LOOKING FOR THE FREE ROAMING GIRL

You are a petite woman, blue collared blouse–no sleeves–blue jeans and strikingly sharp blue eyes. Your hair, dark and curled, was tied back, to allow you free roam, jotting notes on a flip-back spiral notebook. In Foley Square, watching the Granny Peace Brigade chant and sing, I stood nearby, my notebook and pen suddenly clumsy and ridiculous in hand, and asked your name, but I’m not sure you heard me, and fearing rejection, I was too embarrassed to ask again.

If you see this, call me. We’ll talk Cronkite and Woodward and eat fruit salad and never look back. (Actually email us: personals@nplusonemag.com, and we’ll connect you!)

THE SORTA AVAILABLE JOURNO WITH AN ADORABLE DOUBLE STANDARD

Semi-available female journalist in my late twenties, yoga enthusiast, admirer of French poststructuralism, and occasional foodie desires completely available fiction OR nonfiction writer, to have long conversations about politics and such over wine. Must be older and taller than me, probably must live in Brooklyn. Helpful if you have a dog unless it’s a small yappy one. Helpful if you are a good cook.

THE POET WITH A SWEET SPOT FOR KARAOKE

Female poet/writer/teacher. Down to earth, smart, clever music-lover with major wanderlust seeking someone with brains, looks, and a creative side. Glasses, vests, long-hair, or tweed all an added bonus, as is an affection for British literature and all things British. Must: Enjoy life, karaoke, laughing, and kissing.

THE BROOKLYN DUDE WITH LOTS OF POTENTIAL

Male, 24, blonde, six feet tall. Originally from D.C., now a recovering expat (taught English in Korea, studied at Cambridge) living in Brooklyn. Nominally unemployed.

We should watch Twin Peaks, go to brunch. You can tell your mother I just took the LSAT.

THE TWITTER CHICK WITH A THING FOR ANARCHY

Female, 21, studying history in New York. Likes: oversized sweaters, conspiracy theories, Eastern European movies. Irrationally loathes: Coldplay, bubble tea. Seeking a fellow left-handed coffee aficionado who does the New York Times crossword semi-religiously (but we can’t do it together because I’m fiercely possessive – just of my crosswords, not my men really). Socialists and anarchists are equally fine, but if you’re in the middle you might have to justify it. Looking for someone to to tweet me something witty.