Australian Government warns dating apps over unsolicited nudes


Grindr Fails unsolicited nudes
Photo: Grindr/QNews.com.au

Dating websites and apps that operate in Australia have been warned by the Australian Government. If they do not protect their users from online sexual violence. This includes sending unsolicited nudes. The government will have to pursue legislative solutions to the problem.

Research from the Australian Institute of Criminology released in October 2022. Found that three out of four people using dating apps or websites in Australia experienced some form of sexual violence via those platforms in the five years to 2021.

The definition of online sexual violence includes:

  • sexual harassment,
  • abusive or threatening messages,
  • the sending of unsolicited sexual images,
  • and stalking.

Self-regulation may not be enough.

A National Roundtable on Online Dating Safety, convened in January by the Ministers for Communications and Social Services, brought together industry heads, state and territory governments, and the sexual violence sector and victim-survivor advocacy groups to examine options to address abuse facilitated by online dating platforms.

One of the results of that roundtable was a commitment to develop a voluntary code for the industry to improve engagement with law enforcement, support at-risk users, improve safety policies and practices, and greater transparency about harms.

The industry is set to implement that code by the middle of next year.

But while many online dating platforms have taken steps to keep their users safe, these efforts vary across the industry, and the Australian Government has flagged that if the code does not sufficiently improve safety for users, then legislative options will be pursued.

The level of violence

“Dating apps are now the most common way to meet a partner in Australia, yet the level of violence experienced by users of these platforms is deeply concerning,” Australian Minister for Communications Michelle Rowland said earlier this week.

“That is why I have decided to provide members of the online dating industry with an opportunity to work together to address the Government’s concerns.

“However, I have made it crystal clear that if the industry fails to improve safety outcomes for Australians, we will not hesitate to develop legislative options.”

Sending another person’s intimate photos without their consent is a crime throughout Australia. The sending of unsolicited sexual images that a person has made of themselves is not yet a criminal offence.

“Dating app violence … has to end,” Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth added.

“There is no arbitrary line between online and offline in our lives anymore. Abuse can cross between them, like osmosis.

“We need to ensure that our community, including dating app users, know what it means to be respectful online, what kinds of behaviours are unacceptable and the consequences for unacceptable behaviours.”

Grindr, we’re looking at you.

Popular gay dating app Grindr allows users to indicate on their profile whether they are open to receiving sexual images from other users. However, users can still send sexual images to users without their consent, which is something many users report receiving nearly every day.

One Grindr user, who chose not to disclose their name to QNews, complained about many users sending these images without initiating a conversation.

“They should add a function on Grindr where a user has to give another user permission before sending these sorts of images,” they told QNews.

“Sending someone an image before there has been any other communication between two users would seem like something that would be easy to flag.

“Given that many of the internet scammers who target users on Grindr use images with text inside them, that would also help to improve users’ safety about that issue.”

For the latest LGBTIQA+ Sister Girl and Brother Boy news, entertainment, and community stories in Australia. visit qnews.com.au. Check out our latest magazines or find us on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.

 

Andrew M Potts

Andrew has been covering LGBTQIA+ issues for a range of publications in Australia over two decades and was the Asia-Pacific correspondent for global LGBTQIA+ news website Gay Star News.

QNews, Brisbane Gay, App, Gay App, LGBTI, LGBTI News, Gay Australia

1 Comment

  1. Steven
    21 September 2023
    Reply

    It’s GRINDR that is what it is (Dating App) hookup Service! Everyone knows that it’s highly likely you’ll see lots of nudes!
    I know it’s legally required to call em “Dating apps/services” but !everyone! that signs up knows better & they know what there signing up for! If they say otherwise they lying!
    *^^ the same goes for any Dating App / Service it’s all the same!

    They basic conversation is: “Hey How you going?”
    good thanks
    you horny *nude pic*?
    ……
    wanna hookup??

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