Tinder, Bumble, Hinge, Grindr to change how dating apps work

Tinder, Bumble, Hinge, Grindr to change how dating apps work
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Online dating apps will boost the safety of users and combat gender-based violence under a new industry-wide code of practice.

The owners of Tinder, Hinge, Bumble, Grindr, ChristianMingle, OkCupid, Match.com, RSVP and other dating apps have agreed to comply with a set of rules following a request from the federal government.

Moving forward, the apps will have systems to detect potential incidents of harm, delete accounts of users who violate online safety policies, have better complaint and reporting systems and provide support resources for safe dating practices.

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They will also be required to publish regular transparency reports and work better with law enforcement in cases where there is a threat to a user’s safety.

“Online dating is now the most common way to meet a partner in Australia,” Communications Minister Michelle Rowlands said.

“These services did not develop overnight, and the lack of action over the last decade means that regulation has not kept pace with technology.

“This new industry code is an Australian-first for the online dating sector.”

Social Services Minister Amanda Rishworth added that the code is hoped to protect Australians from sexual violence and abuse in online spaces.

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“Dating app violence is a form of gender-based violence, and it has to end,” she said.

“Everyone deserves to live a life free of violence no matter where they are and this includes online”.

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There are calls for criminals to be banned from dating apps after Sydney teacher Danielle Finlay-Jones was allegedly murdered by a man she met online.

An oversight body will be formed to administer the code and ensure companies are complying with the rules.

Dating apps which fail to follow the rules can be penalised with formal warnings or suspension or removal from the code.

The code will come into practice in the next three months.

After nine months of operation, the eSafety Commissioner will assess whether the rules have worked in protecting Australian users and whether further regulation is needed.

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