Tinder and Grindr are facing new scrutiny over their age verification practices after a report found multiple examples of children being abused after signing up for dating apps.
Yesterday, the UK sunday time reported that law enforcement officials in the UK have investigated more than 30 cases in which children evaded age requirements on dating apps and were later raped, according to public records obtained by the outlet. The report also found 60 other cases related to the sexual exploitation of children on dating services.
The UK culture secretary is investigating.
UK Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright told the publication that his office was investigating. “I will write to these companies to ask what measures they have put in place to protect children, including verifying their age,” he said. “If I am not satisfied with your answer, I reserve the right to take further action.”
The report raises questions about Tinder and Grindr’s detection practices. The two companies say they use algorithmic and human detection tools to prevent children from using their apps. In a statement sent to The edge, a Grindr spokesperson said the company “is constantly working to improve” its tools. “We are saddened to hear of these reports,” the spokesman said. “Grindr is committed to creating a safe environment to help our community connect and prosper, and we are concerned about any explanation of sexual abuse or other illegal behavior, as well as a clear violation of our terms of service.”
“We use a network of industry-leading review and moderation tools and spend millions of dollars annually to prevent, monitor and remove minors and other inappropriate behavior from our app,” a Tinder spokesperson told the Times. “We don’t want minors on Tinder.”