Tinder and Grindr are about to come under the UK government’s giant microscope as the UK Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Jeremy Wright, will be skipping the standard dating app small talk as he grills the dating giants on their age verification and safety systems.
This comes as a result of a Sunday Times report (subscription needed) which has revealed multiple instances of exploitation and sexual assault against children who have managed to sign up for the app, which alleged include over 30 instances of rape since 2015. It’s a damning claim, and Wright is expected to seek answers on how these companies are working to protect children from harm, and ensure the wellbeing of their users.
Wright has promised further action if he doesn’t feel like swiping right after the questioning, but it’s not entirely sure what action this would involve. The UK is already moving towards a mandatory age verification for viewing porn online, so it’s not hard to imagine a similar legal verification system for dating apps — although this could lead to a revealing situation where you need to inform your bank or a local shopkeeper on your preference of dating app. This system has suffered numerous cutbacks and delays, but it’s unclear if dating apps will get the same stringent treatment as pornography.
Currently, both companies and several other dating apps not being quizzed use a mixture of automated and human systems to keep unsuitable people off of the app, but it appears that this system isn’t working as well as might be hoped.
How this will change things at the moment is unknown, but it’s likely the dating app outfits will try to clean things up themselves before the government wades in.
Using a dating app? Found someone that shouldn’t be up there? Thing the area needs greater regulation? We’re on Twitter at @TrustedReviews.