A judge in Ireland has instructed dating apps to be stricter on the age and identities of its users.
This came after a 43-year-old man was taken to court for engaging in a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old boy, whom he met online. The boy signed up to Grindr by lying about his age and saying that he was 18.
The pair met on the gay dating app before continuing to message and arrange meetings on Snapchat.
The boy admitted to being banned from Grindr in the past for solicitation, but had never been contacted by the app over issues surrounding his age.
The judge told the jury to find the defendant not guilty due to the unavailability of witnesses, but he did say that Grindr should revisit its identification process urgently.
A recent study in Taiwan found that approximately 37% of 12-17 year-olds had signed up to dating apps using a fake age. There was a call for apps to increase their regulations, and for there to be more education given to children about the dangers of messaging strangers online.
Facebook announced that it was going to do more to tackle the amount of underage users that are signing up to to Facebook and Instagram, as well as locking the accounts of those that are already in the system.
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