Tackling abuse on dating apps

Apr 20, 2015, 13:19 IST

Online dating

Every few days, we see a new dating app being launched in the market. These are user-friendly no doubt and trying to make like minded people meet on the digital platform, hit it off and then meet and take the relationship further. However easy and convenient the world of online relationships sound – is it a better way to find a soulmate? Or are there risks involved?

Various surveys have revealed that 1 out of 12 users experience some sort of abuse while they are dating online. However, not many come forward and report it. Just like the various kinds of abuses go unreported, online dating mishaps too are not talked about for the fear of being judged and blamed. However, three students from the University of Alberta have taken up the tasks of making online dating more secure and safer for women.

Their battle is against Tinder, a popular matchmaking app and they are trying to point out loopholes in its security through an online campaign. Michelle Schultz and two of her classmates Brittany Heddle and Brooke Andrews were prompted to start the campaign - TinderGrrrls after they learnt about other women’s experiences where they were subjected to threats of being beaten up or raped after they rejected someone on the app.

All that TinderGrrrls aims at doing is creating awareness amongst women using Tinder and other dating apps to find someone to get into a relationship with. Tindergrrrls asks women to submit their experiences of abuse on Tinder. While these accounts of abuse remain anonymous, they are then tweeted on the campaign’s Twitter account to make other women, already using Tinder or any other dating app, aware of online harassment and how they can tackle it. Tindergrrrls has reached a little over 500 followers on Twitter and is continuously helping women with information and skills to deal with an online abuse situation.