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3 things to know about a disturbing Tinder trend

A growing number of underage users are logging on to dating apps

Tinder sharing function

Tinder has experienced an influx of users who are 18 and under, according to multiple sources. Technically, you only have to be at least 13 to join Tinder, and the app will make sure that users in the 13- to 17-year old age range only see each other. However, it’s easy to set a fake birthday on your Facebook, from which Tinder takes its information.

So, here are a few tips from around the web that might help you steer clear of any statutory rape charges:

1. Many underage girls appear to use Tinder mostly as a source of validation

According to this Daily Mail article:

‘Girls are using it to boast about how many matches… how many people want to hook up with them,’ Ms McLean told Daily Mail Australia.

She said that type of mentality wasn’t good for a young girl’s self-esteem if they were judging their worth on the amount of ‘likes’ they get on Instagram or matches on Tinder.

‘The other issue is geolocation. You are giving away your precise location… giving away your location is highly problematic,’ Ms McLean said

‘There is no safe way to be on Tinder.’

It comes as surveys revealed more school children in Australia were using Tinder compared to those aged over 35, the Daily Telegraph reports.

2. This article chronicled how easy it is to fake your age

The Daily Telegraph published this article talking about how easy it is for a 13 year old to get on Tinder and communicate with other users who are 18 or older:

Once downloaded from the app store, Tinder asked to access her Facebook account.

And because the girl’s Facebook account age was set for a 13-year-old, the Tinder app downloaded the “teen” version allowing her to view only boys or girls aged between 13 and 17.

But because birthdates can be set to anything a user likes on Facebook there is no way of verifying the “boys” the young girl was connecting with were the age they claimed to be.

3. Tinder doesn’t have any real way to verify user data

According to an article in Yahoo!:

Director of security at tech company Nuix Asia-Pacific, and former digital forensic specialist with the NSW Police, Michael Wilkinson agreed dating apps such as Tinder were the “perfect target for people-grooming”.

“It is a trivial process to fake age, fake an account and fake a profile.

“There is no robust age-identification mechanism,” Mr Wilkinson said.

Police warned teenagers, and parents too, of the potential dangers of online dating, at any age.

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About Luke Harold Luke Harold is a journalist who has written for publications including the Philadelphia Inquirer and Orange County Register.

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