When you meet someone on a dating app, you risk so much more than just getting your heart broken.
Forget the traditional "bad date," there are countless literal horror stories of women being sexually assaulted by people they met on a dating app. According to UK's National Crime Agency, the number of sexual offenses involving dating sites and apps rose by 450% between 2014 and 2018. To make things worse, recent reports discovered that many dating apps, including Tinder, don't screen for sexual offenders. Thankfully, the already haywire world of dating is getting a little safer as Tinder rolls out a slew of safety features, including a panic button.
The "Tinder Timeline" will allow users to upload details about their date, including location, before they actually go meet up with a stranger from the internet. Users can share the Tinder Timeline with friends, because it's always smart to let someone know where you're going to be.
Once on the actual date, users can press the panic button if they feel unsafe, and the app will contact emergency services with highly accurate location data and details about the date. First, emergency services will send a text so the user won't have to tip their date off by talking. If the text goes unanswered, dispatchers will send a code and call the user. If there's still no answer, emergency services will be sent to the rescue.
The new tools are available on the "Safety Center" section of the app. In order to actually use the panic button, users will have to download Noonlight, a personal safety app that Match Group recently partnered with. Right now, the panic button is only available on Tinder, but Match Group has plans to offer the panic button on other Match Group dating apps, including PlentyOfFish, OkCupid, and Hinge.
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Match Group is the first dating company to invest in an emergency response service, according to chief executive Mandy Ginsberg. Tinder has been around since 2012, and it almost seems a little late for the app to get in on the safety game, but thank goodness it's happening at all. Apps are making our lives easier, but they also have the power to put people in sketchy situations in ways that didn't exist before. Just ten years ago, you'd be crazy to get in a car with a total stranger. Today, it's just Uber – an app that has also ramped up its safety measures following controversy.
Dating shouldn't put you in danger. Women have often relied on things like "women's intuition" to avoid danger on dates. Now, we have technology to back up those tried and true techniques.
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