Advancing Security Policy for Safer Dating App Experiences

Online dating platforms have surged in activity since the pandemic began. In fact, one of the leading dating apps, Tinder, reached a record of 3 billion swipes in a single day last March 2020 [1]. Meanwhile, a study revealed that Bumble, another top platform, generated a staggering 2.05 million downloads in the US alone between April and June of 2021 [2].

Dating apps show no signs of slowing down. However, as they grow, so does the risk of unsafe behavior and exposure to harmful content within these platforms. This is why it is crucial for dating apps to strengthen their security policy and content moderation practices to improve monitoring and moderation of user-generated content, and to ensure safety between users through the necessary customer experience measures. 

The TaskUs Policy Research Lab investigated 10 of the world’s best online dating apps. The team closely monitored user experience within each platform and how security policy influenced areas such as signup and authentication processes, potential dangers and trends within the app, as well as the safety features available to users.

Signup and Authentication Process

We found Phone Verification to be the most common signup method in 90% of the platforms in the study. Facebook emerged as the top social media platform of choice for users to link their dating profile with. The research also ranked security authentication types from the strongest to the weakest, and showed which of them have the highest ratings in fraud protection and identity theft prevention. We observed some platforms taking extra safety measures such as allowing female users to request photo verification from potential matches.

Major Violations and Trends

Fake profiles emerged as a common theme as fraud prevention policies continue to improve. Dating apps also enforce Trust and Safety policies and content moderation to help protect users. Ninety percent of the platforms in the study prohibit users from disclosing sensitive information on their profiles. But while 60% of these apps already have security measures in place against illegal substances, they can strengthen enforcement through AI and machine learning to determine trends in user behavior and how they spread. Dating apps also continue to crack down on unsolicited sexual messages, which is a serious problem affecting many female users.

Report, Block, and Appeal Features

All platforms in the study currently have a blocking feature, but only a few allow users to block and report simultaneously. With underage accounts becoming an issue, 90% of these platforms do have a clear process to report underage users. Regulations are now being drafted to encourage dating apps to improve customer experience measures by creating a strong appeal process that protects minors.

Recommendations

As a leader in Trust and Safety, TaskUs provides consulting and services for leading dating platforms to reinforce strong security policy adherence and best practices in content moderation. Our recommendations include making photo verification mandatory for fraud protection, linking social media accounts, verifying selfies with real-time photo moderation to prevent inauthentic behavior, and protecting sensitive information by explicitly indicating certain user details such as phone numbers within the platforms’ private information policy. We also suggest platforms to leverage AI and machine learning to help detect and address the spread of inappropriate content, while continuing to educate content moderation teams on trends and ensure strict policy adherence in content monitoring.

Advancing Security Policy for Safer Dating App Experiences

The TaskUs Policy Research Lab provides in-depth research on the most prevalent Trust and Safety issues, including trends found within online dating platforms. This helps Us determine areas of improvement and suggest solutions to reinforce existing security policy and ensure a safe and secure user experience for all. To learn more, download the study Major Dating App Trends & Violations.

References:

  1. Tinder data shows how pandemic dating was even weirder than regular dating
  2. Bumble going strong as pandemic love endures Delta concerns

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