The logo of the location-based social search mobile app Tinder is displayed on a smartphone on October, 05, 2018 in Berlin, Germany.
(Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty IMages)
A number of popular apps, including Tinder and Grindr, have failed to protect children from being sexually exploited on their platforms, a new report charges.
The british Sunday Times obtained documents from ten Uk police forces, which show instances of child grooming and sexual exploitation of origin with the online dating services.
One of the incidents involved a 16-year-old girl with Down syndrome who was apparently forced to send naked photos, while the other involved a 13-year-old boy who was allegedly sexually abused by 21 people by dating apps like Grindr, according to Gizmodo. The boy is now an adult and reportedly told the British newspaper that he was “brainwashed” by his abusers, and that he only access the app through the use of a false date of birth.
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“I will be writing to these companies to ask what measures they have in place to keep children safe from harm, including the check of their age,” Jeremy Wright, the Conservative y politician and the uk Culture Secretary, told the Sunday Times, according to Gizmodo. “If I’m not satisfied with the answer, I reserve the right to take further action.”
Tinder and Grindr only allow users who are 18 years of age or older.
However, most of the dating apps rely on the honor system, which means that there is nothing to prevent someone who is underage from lying about their date of birth and easy to sign up.
A Tinder spokesperson told Gizmodo that they “have a network of leading automated and manual and review the tools, systems and processes — and spend millions of dollars per year — to prevent, monitor and remove minors and other inappropriate behavior of our app.”
“The bottom line is this: we constantly evaluate and refine our processes to prevent minors from access, and will always work with law enforcement, where possible, to protect our users,” the spokesperson said. “We don’t want minors on Tinder. Period.”
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A spokesman for Grindr told the tech site:
“We are saddened to learn of these reports. Grindr is committed to creating a safe and secure environment to help our community connect and thrive, and an account of sexual abuse or other illegal behavior is disturbing for us as well as a clear violation of our terms of service. We encourage users to report improper or illegal conduct within the app or directly via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. In addition, our team is constantly working to improve our digital and human screening tools to prevent and remove inappropriate minors use of our app.”
Fox News has reached Tinder and Grindr for further comment.