Dating applications were popular before the Govt-19 epidemic, but forced isolation caused a real boom.
Since Tinder, the world’s most downloaded dating processor, liked 3 billion swipes in a single day in March 2020 (when a user’s photo slides left or right) or not.
Although these apps have helped connect many people over the years, some users are wary of the environment they have created.
This is especially true for women who experience high levels of harassment and abuse on stage, especially from men of the opposite sex.
Shani Silver, a writer from New York, says, “Being treated like I’m used to free sex work is a very difficult aspect for me.”
“It’s not good. It hurts.”
Silver, the host of the “A Single Serving” dating podcast, has been using dating apps for a decade.
“Before saying hello, before saying your real name, I often asked for a sexual support. I hated what’s going on in that world – a lot of hate, it made me feel valued.”
These types of news sites proliferate and affect both men and women.
But women seem to be more vulnerable. The data from the 2020 Pew Research Center study confirms that many people experience some form of harassment on social websites and apps.
Of the 18- to 34-year-old women who use these sites, 57% said they received sexually explicit messages or images that they had not heard.
The same thing happens to teenagers between the ages of 15 and 17, and they report getting this kind of news.
In an Australian study on news exchanged on dating sites in 2018, sexual abuse and harassment were proportionately affecting women targeted by men of the opposite sex.
Some users report psychological stress – and more serious experiences. A 2017 Pew Research Center study found that 36% found their interactions to be “too much or too annoying”.
In the 2020 Pew study, women between the ages of 18 and 35 reported a higher risk of physical harm – 19% (compared to 9% of men).
Overall, one study found that gender and bisexual men rarely expressed concern about their personal safety when using dating processors, while women were more concerned.
Young cultural writer Nancy Joe Sales was so shocked by her experience on these sites that she wrote an autobiography entitled: Nothing Personal: My Secret Life in Dating of Inferno, in free translation).
“These things normalized very quickly – things that are not normal and should not be normal, the amount of abuse that happens, and the danger and danger, not just the physical, but the emotional,” he said, citing lived experiences.
She warns that not everyone in dating apps has had negative experiences, but there are a lot of people – “we need to talk about damage.”
Since this kind of chaotic behavior spoils the experience of women in dating applications, why do such relationships position themselves?
Part of the answer lies in how these sites are created, the companies that create them and the broader government structures.
This could be detrimental to the target users – and changing the situation could be an uphill battle.
There are some ways to reduce these problems.
Tinder, for example, introduced machine learning to detect false messages and language, and then ask the author to review the content before sending it.
In 2020, Bumble adopted artificial intelligence to blur specific images and required user approval to view them.
According to some studies, women receive more harassing news than men – Photo: Getty Images via BBC
Some sites have also introduced user verification, in which they attach profile photos to a user-provided selfie (in which the user performs a very specific action and takes a photo so that the site can verify the authenticity of the image).
This measure is intended to help prevent fraud and abuse because users (in theory) cannot hide behind false identities.
The initiative is good and “it’s better than anything – but I think we have a long way to go,” says Silver. Many users agree.
“The only thing we have is a block button. Even if it’s there, you can block people, but what we do not take into account is that to stop someone, you must first feel the negativity of the action.” She says.
Sexual violence during face-to-face encounters is one of the biggest concerns of users.
As the number of people using the dating app increases and they take precautionary measures such as charging their phones or informing family and friends about their plans, they become victims of sexual violence.
In 2019, Columbia University’s press department and news website ProPublica, a match group with about 45 dating apps, will only check sex offenders on its paid apps, not on free sites like Tinder, Okupit and Hing.
These findings led to a hearing by U.S. lawmakers in May 2021, after which they introduced a bill requiring networking sites to enforce their own rules designed to prevent fraud and abuse.
But there are loopholes in U.S. Internet law, Section 230 of the Communications Code of Conduct, which states that websites cannot liability third parties for damages caused by their sites.
This means that this multi-billion dollar industry is largely not responsible for miscommunications — and it is up to the sites to introduce measures such as Tinder and Bumble implementing some of them.
(The BBC contacts six different online dating applications, but not all have been interviewed for this article.)
Section 230 is controversial – and there are many calls today to update or remove it altogether.
Many argue that this rule, which appeared in the 1990s, is obsolete because the sites and the people who use them have evolved considerably.
For now, the sale says, “It’s like illegal land.”
Can things be improved?
Currently, most users are not protected beyond the screening activities that each site chooses to implement. Many, of course, see positive connections – and even lasting relationships.
But, in general, users still use the sites at their own risk and expense, especially in countries without explicit security.
In addition to legal developments and corporate security measures, there are also cultural changes that help protect the women and other users of these sites, both online and offline.
Men need to inform the users they interact with about how their actions affect them: they dramatically underestimate the impact of abuse.
Intrusive ideas about gender roles and often misguided social attitudes need to be rebuilt for further improvement – that is, to stop women from accepting these types of relationships as “own”.
For Friday, the abuse was enough. She abruptly left the stage two years ago. And he never looked back.
“They never gave me good. So why did I give them access to me, my life, my time, my money?”
“When I asked myself that question, it really put things in front of me. For the first time I was able to remove (processors) and I didn’t even feel the slightest urge to download again.”
And ends: “It sounds dramatic, but I feel like I’ve got my life back.”