Should Dating Apps Ban Screenshots?

While dating app users may face rejection, inappropriate behaviour, and scams, they now also have to worry about the prospect of going viral. With that in mind, should dating apps restrict the ability for users to take screenshots?

A new column from The Face explores how society discusses dating apps, highlighting that it’s common for people to publicly criticise the experience of online dating. As part of this, users are now sharing screenshots of their conversations with the world.

For example, GDI reported on a viral TikTok and Twitter thread where one dating app user was complaining about the etiquette of her Hinge match, sharing screenshots of the messages sent in their conversation.

“Social media is brewing with people hating on their dates for splitting (or not splitting) the bill, or trying too hard (or too little), and we rarely stop to question the legitimacy of these narratives”, writes Darshita Goyal of The Face.

Not only does sharing screenshots potentially expose someone to the wrath of social media commenters, potentially unjustly, but it also harms the public’s perception of online dating. 

“Each ​“dating is terrible” post leaves us more cynical about finding love, turning strangers on apps into big bad wolves. Suddenly, a hopeful first date feels questionable in hindsight; simple gestures appear to be a ploy to get into your pants”, Goyal explained.

In 2021, dating app Badoo restricted the ability for users to screenshot their conversations with other users. This decision was backed by surveys, where 93% of daters said they would be more open and honest if they knew screenshotting was not possible.

Its important to note the major downside of a ban on screenshots would be the consequent lack of accountability. “Screenshots of bad dating stories can be valid when they warn others about abuse or harassment”, Goyal highlights.

Screenshotting a match’s inappropriate behaviour or comments might be the only ‘evidence’ a user has of this activity, depending on the safety protocols of the dating platform in question.

Koyal writes that despite some examples of justified screenshots, “…often, perceived transgressions hinge on, at best, personal preference and, at worst, a difference in expectations”.

“Perhaps all the dating scene needs is a dose of optimism – and privacy. Instead of personalising a stranger’s minor inconvenience, just talk to someone you find hot and keep it between both of you. Let the sparks fly”, she summarised.

So what do you think, should dating apps ban screenshots?