Dating site for sex offenders
Papamechail lived near her home in a suburb of Boston and, like Deveau, was divorced.
His dating app profile said he wanted "to find someone to marry." Deveau had used dating websites for years, but she told her adult daughter the men she met were "dorky." She joked about how she could get "catfished" if a date looked nothing like his picture. The two were — in the popular dating platform's jargon — "matched." A background check would have revealed that Papamechail was a three-time convicted rapist.
And while most people feel positively about using apps to meet other people, there’s little data about any actual risk involved in putting yourself out there in the quest to find true love, a cuddle buddy, or anything in between.
A new investigative report from Pro Publica, Buzz Feed, and Columbia Journalism Investigations (CJI) published Tuesday (December 2) underscores that risk.
Moreover, fewer than one in four incidents of sexual assault are ever reported to police, and survivors have a host of valid reasons as to why they may choose not to formally report.
The Harvard-educated entertainment executive held a high-profile press conference to unveil her lawsuit.
“A positive and safe user experience is our top priority, and we are committed to realizing that goal every day.” Tinder currently provides a user’s safety guide for both on-app and in-person interactions, which focuses largely on how people can protect their own safety; a paragraph about the ongoing and enthusiastic nature of consent outsources to RAINN’s guidelines.
The company also makes users promise that they will not “bully, ‘stalk,’ intimidate, assault, harass, mistreat or defame any person,” and stipulates that it “reserves the right to investigate and/or terminate [an] account without a refund of any purchases if [a user] violated this Agreement, misused the Service or behaved in a way that Tinder regards as inappropriate or unlawful, including actions or communications that occur on or off the Service.” But as Pro Publica points out, it’s notoriously difficult to monitor whether users violate those rules or break those promises unless survivors of harassment or assault self-report — and if a perpetrator unmatches with you before you do that, you typically lose access to messages that might bolster your claims.
Of those dozens of companies, only Match purports to conduct background checks on users with any regularity; most of the companies that provide free services, and are ostensibly the most accessible to users, do not.
According to the report, CJI “analyzed more than 150 incidents of sexual assault involving dating apps,” which have primarily occurred “in the past five years and during the app users’ first in-person meeting, in parking lots, apartments and dorm rooms.