Calling on Tinder to Protect Its Users from Sex Offenders and Violent Criminals
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Online dating isn’t going anywhere. In fact, 38% of adults in the US who are single or looking have experimented with online dating. And a lot of those adults are swiping right.
Since it arrived on the online dating scene in 2012, Tinder has been a popular, go-to option for singles. As of 2018, Tinder use is at an all-time high and is the third-most-used app via Facebook login. But that popularity comes with its own set of dangers: A study by the UK’s National Crime Agency found a six-fold increase in online dating initiated sexual offenses from 2009 to 2014.
So we’re asking Tinder, one of the most popular online dating platforms, to lead by example. The app should prioritize its users’ safety and take steps to better protect those users from sex offenders and violent criminals.
Here at ASecureLife, we focus on safety—whether that comes in the form of security for your home or tools to find sex offenders in your neighborhood. And we think this moment is a good opportunity for Tinder to set an example for other online dating sites and keep its users safe in three ways.
Three ways Tinder can protect its users against sex offenders and violent criminals
- Tinder should update its official safety page on its desktop site to include a link to the national sex offender registry. That way, users will be more likely to consider this issue when researching Tinder safety and have fast access to the registry so they can search the names of the people they hope to meet.
- We ask that Tinder create systems to enforce the rule in its user guidelines stating that individuals who are on the sex offender registry and/or have been convicted of a violent crime are unauthorized to use Tinder. Tinder can do this by implementing a system that checks new profiles against local offender registries or by using a safety team initiative to work with law enforcement and parole officers to regularly check the images and names used in existing profiles against their databases.
- Tinder should create an in-app resource that gives users quick access to local sex offender registries to check for offenders in their area. It would be similar to the local STD testing center resource it implemented in 2016.
The original intention of online dating is to make meeting new people fun. But safety is paramount too. Tinder has the opportunity to be a leader in positive change in online dating and help its users feel more secure when using its app.
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