DIGITAL CITIZEN’S BLOG
Love in the Digital Age
Virtual dating amidst a pandemic! Just how safe are you?
While the World stepped indoors to quarantine, dating apps defeated expectations and gained more users. In a shocking reveal, the second quarter letter to shareholders of Match Group (who own 45 dating apps including the more popular Tinder, Match.com, Okcupid, and Hinge) reported a surge in usage across demographic groups. The average number of subscribers grew 11% to 10 million, up from 9 Million last year.
With so many using the app, one must ask, how safe is the user?
An investigation by Four Corners and Triple J Hack this year, found that Tinder is enabling sexual predators to thrive on its app. More than 400 people responded to Hack’s public call out about safety on dating apps – the majority said they had experienced sexual assault or harassment. Of the 48 who reported a sexual offense to Tinder, only 11 received a generic response from the app.
On the 12th of October 2020, a blog post referencing this joint investigation was posted on Tinder’s official site detailing all the changes they are making to their services.
A key concern in the investigation was Tinder’s Unmatch feature which deletes all conversations between two individuals. What was intended to power users to delete people they feel unsafe with quickly became a sex- offenders go to move.
The investigation shows that Digital safety is as crucial as ever. Here’s a few tips you can employ when using these services:
>Review your profile visibility – The more control you have, the less likely your information is exposed on the internet.
>Review Safety Features – Online dating is risky, there’s so much about the other person we don’t know. Read up on the safety guidelines when signing up.
>Review your location settings – How do you feel about strangers knowing exactly where you are? Sharing that information just sets up different problems.
>Reconsider linking social media – the last thing you need, is someone you feel unsafe about knowing all your other social media handles.
Learn more about Digital safety in the FREE Digital Citizenship toolkit on www.minormatters.org