Tinder has updated its safety features after allegations sexual predators and abusers are exploiting the dating app to find victims, then disappear without a trace.
In an online blog responding to claims aired on the Four Corners program last week, Tinder and its parent, the Match Group, said: “We have heard from survivors and we are acting.”
The ABC program found hundreds of people reported experiencing abuse and harassment on the app and dozens reported a sexual offence, but less than a quarter received a response.
Out of the 11 people who did actually hear back, almost all described a generic message response that provided no information about what action was taken.
The multi-billion dollar Match Group said it had changed the app’s reporting function, so users get a response and are directed to support services.
“We have updated our reporting function so that if members submit a report, we respond in-app or via email, directing them to trained resources for crisis counselling and survivor support,” the group said.
“This response was written in partnership with external safety experts in the fields of preventing sexual violence and sex trafficking, law enforcement and LGBTQ+ advocacy.”
The program detailed how one woman posted on social media after receiving a message from a Tinder user, sparking a rush of responses from other women who also recognised him.
One app user recognised him as the same man who allegedly raped her three times after luring her to his house.
When she reported the account to Tinder, she said she got an automated response and never heard anything more.
Others complained predators were using the design of the app to avoid detection.
Once a user unmatches with another user on Tinder, their profile and messages disappear from your phone and this prevents you being able to report them to the app.
However, Match said even if an assailant unmatches you, it still can access the messages and work with law enforcement if the matter is reported.
The group will meet with Australian federal and state police and safety officials in coming weeks to explain how it will help clamp down on violent behaviour.
Match said it was unaware of any requests for information from any law enforcement agencies related to sex assault survivors named by the ABC.
“If you are investigating anyone and believe we have any information that can be helpful, contact our legal department,” it said.
“We take incidents of sexual assault with the utmost urgency and seriousness and will always — always — work with law enforcement to help ensure that justice is served.”
Originally published as Tinder makes changes to app after scandal