A recent statement from Australia’s Minister for Communications has provided an update on the country’s mission to make online dating safer. The new developments follow from the roundtable held with Bumble, Grindr, and Tinder earlier this year.
The update reveals that Michelle Rowland, Australia’s Minister for Communications, issued an information request to the top ten online dating services used by Australians. The request sought to find out more about:
- The number of Australian user-generated reports regarding sexual harassment and abuse that occurred on the dating apps or after two users met in real life.
- How the platforms respond to these reports including user bans as well as referrals to authorities and support services.
- How the platforms prevent banned users from making a new account and continuing their bad behaviour
The statement also shared that The Domestic, Family and Sexual Violence Commissioner is working with the eSafety Commissioner, Australia’s National Research Organisation for Women’s Safety, and the Australian Institute of Criminology to study the harm facilitated by dating platforms.
Australia’s Attorney General’s Department is also working on this matter, with their advice expected to be released at the end of June.
The statement shared that the Australian government has welcomed actions taken by Match Group, Bumble, and others to address online dating harms including:
- Collaboration with law enforcement to make reporting and referral pathways for victims more effective
- The introduction of new safety features on dating platforms
- Further work together with Australian women’s safety experts.