As often occurs, websites appear and operate largely unnoticed until our attention is draw to them through a serious physical world incident or concern. This has now occurred with the online dating site Tinder.
There is much coverage in the media now about this site as a result of being linked to a homicide investigation on the Gold Coast, Queensland. This site appears to be the nexus between the suspect and the victim.
Tinder is one of many online dating sites and has been around for a couple of years. In it’s purity it is no different to most online dating sites but should be considered concerning, especially for parents, due to specific functionalities of the app.
GPS location function – Users know the rough location of other users. direct experience the majority of online child sex offenders are lazy and will give preference to potential victims that are near).
Facebook link – An account is created in Tinder through a users Facebook account. (No longer is it necessary to seek out a dating site, create a profile from scratch or validate any details, it is pushed onto Facebook users which include children).
Required age 13 – Tinder supports 13 year olds using online dating sites. (This mindset in itself is concerning, if this wasn’t their mindset they would put measures in place in an attempt to stop this. And of course it is common knowledge that children younger than 13 create accounts listing date of birth as 13 or above. It’s all about the money.
Of course there are further underlying issues that can be created for children being present in a site that’s sole purpose is to connect users who previously didn’t know each other. Having dealt in depth with child sex offenders, Brett sees this site as a “shopping centre for predators”.
Some of our children will try this, as it is there in their face. They’ll do it out of curiosity or fun, however not all users will be there for that same reason. Be aware and make other parents aware of this app.