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Tinder, Bumble, Hinge and Grindr will improve safety and combat online violence

Tinder, Bumble, Hinge and Grindr will improve safety and combat online violence

Tinder, Bumble, Hinge and Grindr will improve safety and combat online violence

Online dating apps are to increase user safety and combat gender-based violence under a new industry-wide code of practice.

The owners of Tinder, Hinge, Bumble, Grindr, ChristianMingle, OkCupid, Match.com, RSVP and other dating apps have agreed to abide by a set of rules following a request from the federal government.

In the future, apps will have systems in place to detect potential incidents of harm, remove accounts of users who violate online safety policies, have better complaint and reporting systems, and provide support resources for safe dating practices.

Online dating apps will increase user safety and combat gender-based violence. (Getty)

They will also have to publish regular transparency reports and better collaborate with authorities in cases where there is a threat to a user’s security.

“Online dating is now the most common way to meet a partner in Australia,” Communications Minister Michelle Rowlands said.

“These services did not develop overnight, and the lack of action over the past decade means that regulation has not kept pace with technology.

“This new industry code is a first for the online dating industry in Australia.”

Social Services Minister Amanda Rishworth added that the code is expected to protect Australians from sexual violence and abuse in online spaces.

“Violence through dating apps is a form of gender-based violence and it has to end,” she said.

“Everyone deserves to live a life free from violence no matter where they are and this includes the Internet.”

Calls are being made for criminals to be banned from using dating apps after Sydney teacher Danielle Finlay-Jones was allegedly murdered by a man she met online.
The code will come into force in the next three months. (9News)

An oversight body will be formed to administer the code and ensure companies comply with the rules.

Dating apps that fail to comply with the rules may be penalized with formal warnings or suspension or removal from the code.

The code will come into force in the next three months.

After nine months of operation, the eSafety Commissioner will assess whether the rules have worked to protect Australian users and whether further regulation is needed.