The number of domestic violence cases continues to rise across Australia, making safety on dating apps a major government roundtable.
On today’s The Briefing podcast, the host, Tom Tilley, and co-host, Jan Fran, discuss the safety issues on dating apps, and the debate by dating apps developers, experts, and government members in response to an alleged murder of a Sydney teacher, Danielle Finaly-Jones.
Listen to the chat below!
Julie Inman Grant, Australia’s e-Safety Commissioner, reveals the danger of dating apps, and the actions taken by authorities to prevent sexual assaults and harassment.
“We’ve seen the worst-case scenario with Danielle Finaly-Jones, and people have been finding that romantic needle in a haystack through dating sites for some time. But I think there are more things we can do to keep Australians safer on dating apps,” she says.
Ms Inman Grant and other e-Safety members have been given suggestions and feedback on dating apps such as match groups and Bumble, raising concerns about its report abuse functionality as sexual assault and harassment are underreported.
She gives an example of the improvement made on the private detector feature in Bumble, which has received many reports on image-based abuse when non-consensual, intimate imagery and videos are shared online without consent.
“Often, that’s a factor in relationship retribution if things don’t work out right, so they now prevent the sending of unsolicited dick pics or intimate images, but they also prevent imagery from being shared in chat. So, there are different safety precautions that are being put in there.”
Ms Inman Grant says there have been calls for offender registries and AVO (Apprehended Violence Orders) material to be considered and processed by these overseas dating sites to keep people safe online.
“We have to look at things like our privacy rules, creating a false sense of security because there will be a lot of offenders who haven’t interacted with the justice system, and we want people thinking, Oh, they’ve been verified by match.com or Bumble, they’re fine. We still need people to make smart dating decisions and when they’re in what seems to be a destructive relationship, to get the help they need to get out there.”