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Dating Apps Questioned Over Age Verification After Child Abuse Cases

Launched in 2012, Tinder has 57 million users around the world and Grindr, founded as a gay dating app in 2009, has 27 million users worldwide

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Dating apps Tinder and Grindr were being questioned over their age verification requirements after several child abuse cases came into light.

“Lax controls on apps used by millions, such as Tinder and Grindr are giving sexual predators and paedophiles easy access to children,” Britain’s The Sunday Times said in a report.

About 30 incidents of child rape have been investigated since 2015 in the UK alone.

online-dating
A man uses the dating app Tinder in New Delhi, India. (VOA)

“Documents reveal 60 further cases of child sex offences via online dating services, including grooming, kidnapping and violent sexual assault,” the report said on Monday.

A person 18 years or older cannot see Tinder profiles of users aged 17 and under. Similarily teenagers can view only profiles within the 13-17 age group, information available on public domain suggests.

The report, however, raised questions on the security of app users on such popular dating sites.

“We are consistently evaluating and refining our processes to prevent underage access, and will always work with law enforcement, where possible, to protect our users as well. We don’t to want minors on Tinder. Period,” The Verge quoted a Tinder spokesperson as saying.

Tinder Dating App. Source: Digital Trends

The dating companies claimed to have been using algorithmic and human screening tools to keep children from using their apps.

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“We are saddened to learn of these reports. Grindr is committed to creating a safe and secure environment to help our community connect and thrive, and any account of sexual abuse or other illegal behavior is troubling to us as well as a clear violation of our terms of service. We are constantly working to improve our tools,” a Grindr spokesperson said.

Launched in 2012, Tinder has 57 million users around the world and Grindr, founded as a gay dating app in 2009, has 27 million users worldwide. (IANS)

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Tinder Rolling out a Photo Verification Service to Curb Catfishing

Additionally, Tinder has also announced a partnership with safety app Noonlight to give US-based users free access to the app

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online-dating
A man uses the dating app Tinder in New Delhi, India. (Representational image). VOA

Location-based dating service major Tinder is rolling out a photo verification service, which it says will help ensure every match is who they say they are.

“Every day, millions of our members trust us to introduce them to new people, and we are dedicated to building innovative safety features powered by best-in-class technology that meet the needs of today’s daters,” said Elie Seidman, CEO of Tinder said in a statement on Thursday.

The feature allows members to self-authenticate through a series of real-time posed selfies, which are compared to existing profile photos using human-assisted AI technology.

Tinder Dating App. (Representational image). Pixabay

Verified profiles will display a blue checkmark so members can trust their authenticity.

The feature is currently testing in select markets and will continue becoming more widely available throughout 2020.

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Additionally, Tinder has also announced a partnership with safety app Noonlight to give US-based users free access to the app.

The on-demand integration will allow members to share details about upcoming dates via Noonlight’s Timeline feature, including who they are meeting, where and when, with the ability to easily and discreetly trigger emergency services if they are feeling uneasy or in need of assistance via the Noonlight app. (IANS)