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As social media heightens concerns over minors being exposed to online predators, Tinder made the decision this week to raise the minimum age of its users to June 9, Dating app Tinder announced yesterday that by next week, teenagers under the age of 18 will no longer be able to use the app , due to concerns about responsibility and safety. As it stands, teenagers between the ages of 13 and 17 have been allowed to use the app, although their potential Tinder "matches" have been restricted to other app users within their age group.
Tinder has a reputation of facilitating hookups instead of relationships, a factor that may have influenced the platform's decision to establish an age restriction. The precautionary measure won't effect the majority of Tinder's user base. A Tinder spokeswoman says that users age 17 and younger only amount to about 3 percent, or around 1.
Tinder is not the only popular app to introduce age restrictions. Other dating sites, such as OkCupid and Hinge, have long had age restrictions, and many other social media platforms restrict their users by age. Popular sties such as Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram all require users to be at least Some are more stringent, with WhatsApp setting an age requirement of 16, and Vine requiring users to be But even with an official company policy, it's not always easy to prevent younger users from creating false profiles with fake older ages.
Some question the effectiveness of Tinder's decision, saying that young people under the age of 18 often already attempt to move into the higher age classification by making false Facebook profiles Tinder builds its profiles by connecting to existing Facebook profiles. Other apps that require users to be over the age of 18, such as Kik, have already faced criticism from those who say their anonymity makes disguising one's age too easy.
There have been several instances of older men luring young teenagers , supposedly protected by Kik's minimum age restriction, into relationships. The problem, according to tech experts, is that age limits are difficult to enforce. Many young people simply ignore them. According to the BBC, a study of young people on social media showed that 78 percent of children under the age of 13 the most common age restriction for social media website were using social media. This week's announcement comes just days after Tinder's announcement last week that it hopes to make using the app more accessible to transgender users.
The app will soon add more gender options than the standard "male" and "female" it currently features. Already a subscriber? Monitor journalism changes lives because we open that too-small box that most people think they live in. We believe news can and should expand a sense of identity and possibility beyond narrow conventional expectations. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier.
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Online dating – should you be worried?