Tinder and Grindr are in some trouble.
Not only is Grindr currently being sued for irresponsibility in a case that could change the landscape of the tech industry, but now the UK government’s got a bone to pick with the company.
According to The Guardian, the British government is questioning Tinder and Grindr on preventive measures for insuring child safety.
Jeremy Wright, the secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport, said:
“I will be writing to these companies asking what measures they have in place to keep children safe from harm, including verifying their age. If I’m not satisfied with their response, I reserve the right to take further action.”
According to the Sunday Times, there have been 30 cases of child rape since 2015 involving these two apps. On both apps, there is little stopping underage users from accessing both programs.
The Times also reports that an additional 60 cases have sprung up from data found using freedom of information laws. These cases include grooming, kidnapping, and violent sexual assault. The youngest victim in the bunch was eight-years-old.
In response to these calls for responsibility, Grindr released the following statement:
“Any account of sexual abuse or other illegal behaviour is troubling to us as well as a clear violation of our terms of service. Our team is constantly working to improve our digital and human screening tools to prevent and remove improper underage use of our app.”
Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for Tinder said that both automated and manual censors were used to report “red flag images.” But she says users must do their part by also reporting photos of minors.
"We utilize a network of industry-leading automated and manual moderation and review tools, systems and processes – and spend millions of dollars annually – to prevent, monitor and remove minors and other inappropriate behaviour from our app. We don’t want minors on Tinder.”
This is the latest in a wave of censorship and crackdowns on tech industries towards their responsibility on how customers use their products.
At the start of this year, a New York man filed a case against Grindr for their neglect in stopping his ex from creating several catfish profiles of him. The man tried contacting Grindr several times about the profiles and Grindr never responded. This resulted in multiple Grindr users showing up to the victims home and place of work.
In addition, Scruff announced a change in its profile picture policy after its app was taken down from an unspecified app store for lack of following family-friendly codes.
Then, of course, Tumblr became infamous late last year for banning adult content in images after child pornography slipped through its censorship algorithms. That resulted in the app being removed from the Apple app store for a period.
It seems that there’s a change in the air concerning tech companies and how customers use their programs.
We’ll keep you updated on how the situation progresses.