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Why dating apps don't ask for enough information

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With a plethora of stories claiming dating apps to be the source of stalking, abusive messages and at times even more sinister behaviour, it's easy to be scared to swipe right.

Image credit: Santeri Viinamäki on Wikimedia Commons 

When profiles are linked to other social medias, such as Instagram, where location tags are abundant, they have come under fire for requiring too much information. However, there is the other side of the argument - particularly in the case of dating apps, where it can be argued that they do not ask for enough information. 

The likes of Tinder do not ask for much from their users. All that is required is a Facebook profile. You can add pictures from your phone that haven’t appeared on social media, and linking Instagram or Spotify is completely optional. Unfortunately, the problem of those finding people through social media stories etc. is caused by social media and the ease of access to information in general, not through the fault of verification on dating apps.

The ease of creating a profile on most dating sites is the real issue. With no verification needed to prove that you aren’t a catfish, people can hide behind the protection of a computer screen and pretend to be whoever they want. The ability to be fake or anonymous online enables predators to pursue the more honest of us with ease and fearlessness. If there was more verification for online accounts, many of these masks would be stripped away. Being forced to use their own identity may make creeps less inclined to be so bold.

Putting your exact location on social media is risky whether it’s linked to a dating profile or not. There are dangerous people all over the internet and being savvy not only on the likes of Tinder and Bumble but on all social media platforms is never a bad idea.

As a woman who’s used dating apps, I have always made sure that I found someone’s other social medias before agreeing to meet up. I usually only considered meeting up with those who I had mutual friends with, but I know this is somewhat of a privilege of university, where most people are generally are of the same age and at the same stage in life.

As a feminist, of course, this enrages me. Ideally, I shouldn’t have to worry so much when dating apps are designed to let you meet people. And as much as I would like to defy the negative news stories plaguing the internet, they do terrify me. If I knew that the people I used to talk to were definitely who they said they were, I would’ve felt more comfortable.

So, citing a lack of verification as the problem is a serious misdiagnosis. If anything, we need dating apps and websites to take more accountability for ensuring people are transparent on dating sites. In turn, this removes a mask that hopefully makes people less inclined to be creeps online. Maybe I’m just being idealistic, but it’s clear that it’s easy to withhold information from someone you’re about to meet, which is quite frankly terrifying.

Lead image: Santeri Viinamäki on Wikimedia Commons 




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