Love Doctor's Blog

How Can Online Dating Platforms Protect Female Members?

Dating is scary. For some people, the biggest threat is you’ll meet someone really boring and be stuck talking about cryptocurrency whilst you neck a cocktail and then climb out of the bathroom window – if romcoms are to be believed. For other people, especially women and members of the LGBT+ community, a bad date can be a risk to your personal safety. It feels like every week we’re shown headlines with the words ‘Tinder’, ‘hunter’, ‘online dating apps’, ’violence’ ‘swindler’, ‘predator’ and ‘abuse’, and honestly, it’s terrifying. 

What Are Dating Sites Doing?

To their credit, Tinder seems to know that people are afraid. The company has been taking action, and there are sections on the website full of safety tips, helplines and features designed to reduce the amount of sexual harassment sent and received on their app.

They’re not the only online dating site to attempt to crack down: Bumble has a (hilariously named) ‘private detector’ feature which blurs nudes unless users actually want to see them, as an attempt to reduce unsolicited dick-pics. Hinge checks up on their users after a date, which is probably pretty awkward if you’ve gone back to your date’s place and are attempting every move in the kama sutra.

What is ‘No More’? 

Tinder’s latest attempt to protect women is their campaign with No More. Before you start Googling ‘No More Tinder’ (which mostly results in sexy singles in your area type ads) I should clarify that ‘No More’ is actually a charity that works to prevent sexual assault and domestic violence. Their website is, typically, heartbreaking and horrifying, full of harrowing statistics and a quick-exit strategy so you can leave their site before an abuser sees what you’re looking for.

What’s absent is any information about their collaboration with Tinder. Likewise, Tinder’s website doesn’t have any information about No More. In fact, aside from a BBC interview, I couldn’t find anything about this supposed collaboration.

Reactions of Users

According to the BBC, No More will be sending people over to Tinder HQ to educate the staff and create an in-app programme where users are encouraged to behave safely and respectfully. This will have one of two outcomes: either people will learn about No More and act accordingly, or they will leave the app for being ‘too woke’ or ‘overly PC’. To these people, I say a cheerful ‘fuckity bye!’, and Tinder will become better with either option.

Presumably, this project is still in its infancy, hence the lack of information on No More and Tinder’s sites, and it’ll be interesting to see how it evolves into, hopefully, a fruitful and lasting partnership and a safer dating platform. 

Time to Hire Some Women! 

That’s not the only thing that’s changed at Tinder. They’ve realised that women exist, can be hired and might make things better. The woman behind the No More collaboration is Renate Nyborg, the first female chief executive. One of her other acts has been to hire more women, and since her appointment, there’s been a 30% increase in the number of women employed by Tinder.

Which makes you wonder, really, how bad things were before. If we assume that most of the people who suffer sexual harassment on Tinder are women, then surely people with experience as women would be able to empathise and help most effectively. Obviously, these things do happen to men, too, but it seems like there’s no lack of them over at Tinder. So, congratulations, champagne, kisses and all for Tinder discovering that there’s more than one gender. 

Conclusion

Gender-based violence and harassment are everywhere. Ten minutes on the Internet will tell you about women who’ve been attacked at home (Maria Howarth), at work (Pinky Mosaine), on public transport (Melania Geymonat), on streets (Mairi Doherty), in clubs (Claire Sidebottom), at schools (Child Q), on dates (Cristina Ortiz-Lozano), on the Internet (Sara, name changed to protect identity), and somehow, in the metaverse (Nina Jane Patel).

It’s easy to see that one solution isn’t going to fix everything unless the solution is ‘stop raping, assaulting, abusing, harassing and killing people’. Tinder is taking a step, and that’s worth something. Now let’s see how it plays out. 

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