Technology

The Transformation of Dating Apps in the MeToo Era by Lisa

Natalie Durkin, a seasoned user ​of dating apps, recalls an ⁤unpleasant encounter with a ⁣man named Ricky on Bumble, a dating platform where women initiate the conversation. Ricky’s inappropriate ​response to her friendly greeting was not an isolated incident for Durkin. The 28-year-old actress​ has grown accustomed to being objectified by men on these platforms. However, inspired by the ​#MeToo movement, Durkin decided to take a stand⁢ against such ​behavior.‍ She shared the ⁣offensive exchange on Twitter,⁣ prompting an immediate response from ⁢Bumble.

Louise Troen, Bumble’s international ⁣brand director, emphasizes the company’s commitment to user ‍safety. Bumble swiftly responded to Durkin’s tweet, ready to take action, but ‍Durkin had already⁤ blocked ⁢Ricky.‌ Troen explains⁣ that Bumble ⁤has a strict block ⁢and report function⁢ and a⁣ customer service ​team available 24/7 to ⁣address any form of⁢ abuse ‍or unsolicited comments. ‍The platform also has a zero-tolerance​ policy for​ explicit images.

Since⁣ its inception ‍in 2014, Bumble​ has positioned itself as a female-first dating app. But has the #MeToo ⁣movement influenced⁢ other apps⁣ to ⁤enhance their protective measures ⁤for women?⁣ And has male behavior on ‌these apps changed as a result?

Shortly⁣ after ⁢the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke, Tinder introduced ⁢a new ‌feature called “reactions”, allowing women to send animations to men​ exhibiting inappropriate behavior. However, this feature was not a significant step towards addressing harassment.

Jean Meyer, ⁣founder of dating app Once, believes that dating ⁤platforms ‍need to evolve‌ beyond simple messaging⁢ systems⁤ and take responsibility for what happens during‌ dates. Once, which uses real⁢ matchmakers to present users with one match per‍ day, launched new features in February 2018 to empower women.

Meyer explains that Once now allows women‌ to ‌review their dates and assess the accuracy of their pictures, eliminating the need for pre-date⁣ online stalking. Men receive anonymous feedback for ‍improvement. The platform has a⁣ strict policy against harassers and catfishes.

Claire Certain,‍ head of trends at Happn, a dating app‌ that connects ‌users with ​people they’ve crossed paths with in‌ real life, states that their ​safety policy⁣ remains unchanged in the wake of #MeToo as it is already⁤ robust. Both men and women can report inappropriate⁢ behavior and‌ block harassers ⁣with ‌ease on the app.

While blocking and banning can address abusive behavior, the question remains whether dating apps can prevent such behavior from occurring in the first place. Certain believes that a cultural shift is necessary alongside technological solutions,⁤ while Meyer is confident that technology can indeed address societal issues.

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