Should dating apps be regulated? (opinion)Maria Bettina
February 28, 2023
Nowadays dating apps have become very much ingrained into our society, our relationships and love. However, dating apps could be doing a lot more for the safety of their users, and this raises questions over why dating apps are not hit with the same regulation as other industries.
I started to think a lot about this when developing my own company Freyja. As you’d imagine, being a site in the adult space comes with a lot of regulation. Some of this regulation is needed and makes sense, other bits of it are a little frustrating because there are other companies such as social media or dating apps who should have the same regulation but don’t. For example, Freyja isn’t allowed an app because the app store deems adult sites ‘harmful’ and a ‘safety risk’. Okay, but then why are dating apps in the store? Dating apps are at higher risk due to the in-person meet-up.
Let’s go over some of the ‘high-risk’ issues with apps that should be addressed, and regulations that should be in place:
- Dating apps should have ID age verification. I know that some people take issue with this for data protection concerns. However, let’s think about this for a second. Anyone can sign-up to these apps and lie about their age. This can be especially dangerous and has legal consequences if someone lies about being over 18, then goes on a date and has sex with a person that has no idea that their date is underage. Likewise, you can have older people pretending to be younger to attract young women. Therefore, for protection of all users and minors dating apps should have ID verification. 2.Dating apps shouldn’t allow you to send photos. I’ve had too many instances on apps where people have sent me dick pics. I don’t think that you should be able to send photos on apps. Especially if they don’t ‘know their users’ well enough in terms of age etc. Plus, there really is just no need for sending photos on a dating app, so why encourage the dick pick?
- Blue check mark on most dating apps you have the option to facially verify. Once you facially verify you receive a blue tick. Why is this an option and not a requirement? There isn’t really a reason why this is not a requirement other than apps wanting higher user numbers.
4. Show some face
- it should be a requirement to have at least one photo of your face on your card. WTF is it with people uploading just a wall, chest or a cat. Show some face.
These are just a couple examples of things apps could do to make them safer. But this is also a question of political regulation. For example, the UK is contemplating requiring every single user on adult sites to have an ID verification. This particular type of regulation is not great for adult sites as it tends to push people onto unregulated sites. However, this particular type of regulation would fit well for dating apps. This then raises the question, why is the same type of regulations not being imposed on dating apps? Surely if dating apps are influencing our relationships, and have the potential to put us in a dangerous situation we should all be calling for stricter regulation?
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