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But Leech wants other protections, like giving users alerts about potential risks before they ever begin chatting with strangers.Is this scaremongering, or is online dating truly putting users in danger?The online environment could also lull users into thinking they know someone, and therefore making themselves vulnerable.To date, much of the research on online dating has been conducted by dating companies themselves.Nevertheless, while app-related assaults were still rare, they were rising fast enough for the NCA to flag the emergence of “a new type of sexual offender.” Usually a man, he’s less likely than other sexual offenders to have committed any kind of crime before, but instead exploits the “ease of access and arm-chair approach” to meeting people that dating sites enable.Of course, sexual assaults related to online dating may be on the rise just because online dating itself is on the rise.However, it puts most of that down to increased reporting and better recording by the police.

A local council member in Manchester, in the north of England, Leech this year launched a campaign to make online dating companies commit to keeping their users safer.

Often on multiple apps at once, users can swipe through dozens of profiles every minute and plan multiple dates, whether in hopes of a love match or a hook-up.

Decisions to meet arise from limited information: A convenient location; a sultry glance captured in pixels; a mutual interest in “banter.” In 2014, Tinder users were spending as long as 90 minutes a day on the site.

Women had flagged Lawrence to the site, but no single entity had been able to “join the dots” and prevent crimes taking place, he said. In an article in 2013 for Consumers Digest, Mandy Ginsberg, Match’s CEO, is quoted as saying: ”is no different than society.

If you go out to a bar and meet someone that you don’t know, you should be careful.”But those who want to see the industry do more point out that online dating is different from society in one important sense: Users are paying to be there.

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