A recent article by Quartz looks at the safety of online dating, asking whether dating companies could do more to help users, and why some are unwilling to talk about the issue.
The article, written by Cassie Werber, first looks at a number of studies on singles’ safety online, but argues that there are some big gaps in the data released on the subject.
For example, not every victim will come forward, and those that do may not mention a link to online dating, along with the fact that some police forces do not record online dating-specific data.
Werber goes on to explore trends in online dating-related crimes, and the advice that services put out to forewarn users and help protect their members.
The article also notes the recent campaign by former Manchester MP John Leech, who “declared war” on apps Tinder and Grindr, after an FOI request revealed that 58 crimes across Greater Manchester were linked to the two apps.
Werber addresses the common argument against this prevailing idea, which says crimes are increasing because online dating usage is increasing.
She writes: “Of course, sexual assaults related to online dating may be on the rise just because online dating itself is on the rise. But here’s one telling, albeit only suggestive, comparison: The Pew Research Center found that between 2008 and 2013 the proportion of American adults using dating services tripled.
“In Britain, attacks related to online dating increased almost six-fold over roughly the same period. If the US and UK are experiencing the same trends, then online dating is indeed becoming more dangerous.”
Read the article here.