Tinder’s new £5,000 feature could drive harassment of ladies, campaigners warn | EUROtoday

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A new £5,000 feature launched by Tinder — which permits customers to pay extra cash to contact folks they haven’t matched with — could ramp up abuse and harassment of ladies, campaigners have warned.

Fears have been raised that the relationship app’s “ultra-premium” Tinder Select perform, which prices £4,925 per yr, prioritises revenue over the protection of ladies and could even allow home abusers to stalk ex-partners.

The “VIP” feature permits subscribers to get in touch with folks they haven’t matched with for the primary time within the app’s historical past. It will solely be accessible to lower than one per cent of customers, with the app stating solely “extremely active” members can be requested to affix.

Janaya Walker, of the End Violence Against Women Coalition, instructed The Independent: “This feature points to what we see as a wider pattern as tech platforms prioritise profit above women and girls’ safety.

“We’re concerned this feature could increase harassment and abuse of women on dating apps, which is already a huge issue, and could potentially be exploited by perpetrators of domestic abuse, enabling them to find new communication channels with women.”

Ms Walker stated she is eager to see corporations “take gender-based violence into consideration when designing new features such as these”, including that it’s what marketing campaign teams are pushing for with the Online Safety Bill.

She added: “It’s down to the government to make sure this guidance is robust and enforced if it is to make a real difference.”

Users who subscribe to Tinder Select can even have their profiles proven to the relationship app’s “most sought-after” members. Tinder members who’re requested to use should present a verified photograph, alongside a minimum of 4 photographs, in addition to a biography, 5 pursuits, and details about the type of relationship they’re looking for.

Seyi Akiwowo, founder and chief government of Glitch, an anti-online abuse charity, stated: “Tinder Select is certainly a cause for concern. The abuse that’s enabled through dating apps reflects a broader, socially-sanctioned and unrelenting power imbalance that leaves women around the world pursued, harassed and violated daily.”

Ms Akiwowo referred to as for corporations to be held “accountable for the decisions they consciously and continuously make to leave so many of us vulnerable to hate, abuse and violence – online and off”.

She added: “Enabling users to pay for access to the profiles of others is embedding a lack of consent, and presents very real risks in terms of stalking, domestic abuse and online abuse more broadly.”

Kimberly Anderson, a relationship professional dwelling in Paris, instructed The Independent a couple of man she encountered on the relationship app Bumble who despatched her unsolicited pictures of his penis quickly after they started messaging.

The 52-year-old added: “He was pretty decent looking. He worked for a well known perfume company he had pictures of him in nice sports cars and travelling with his son. He looked well dressed. The conversation started quite smoothly. We both said we wanted to see someone regularly.

“It was the first or second day of texting and he sent me dick pics, which was really surprising for me. I didn’t ask for it. I was horrified. I said I’m not interested in you and I’m not interested in continuing this and I blocked his number on WhatsApp.”

Ms Anderson, who’s from the US initially, recalled how his pal contacted her a month later out of the blue explaining he had bought her quantity from him.

“He said do you want to go out?” she added. “The handing to the friend was really strange – it was almost like I was a commodity. It felt invasive. I was shocked and surprised. I told the friend never to contact me again and I was not to have my number passed around people.”

She defined the person who had despatched her the pictures of his penis tracked her down on Instagram however she eliminated him from her followers in addition to blocking him.

“When I realised, I thought oh my god, I don’t want him seeing my personal life,” she added. “I felt uneasy and I felt uncomfortable. I felt he’d gone too far and there was an invasion of boundaries and privacies.”

A consultant for Tinder has been contacted for remark.