Profiles

Hornet Plans To Combat Catfishing With Profile Verification Badges

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If you’ve ever spoken to someone on a dating app and thought, “This person is too good to be real,” you are not alone... and you might be right. The virtual world is full of scammers and other shady characters, including the notorious “catfish” — a person who creates a fictitious online identity to lure unsuspecting mates on dating services. The ever-increasing popularity of online dating means that catfishing, too, is increasing at an alarming rate, and more and more singles are falling victim to the cons.

Hornet has a solution. In a bid to stop would-be fraudsters in their tracks, the popular gay dating app has announced that will let users earn a badge of authenticity, akin to the blue checkmarks of verified profiles on Instagram and Twitter. Hornet is the first major gay dating app to intoduce a veification symbol to identify genuine users.

New Study by Dating App Hinge Shows Similarities More Important Than “Opposites Attract”

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A new study by dating app Hinge shows that people are more likely to match when they have certain traits in common, rather than the old adage “opposites attract.”

According to the results of the study, people are more likely to match when they share similar backgrounds, particularly religious affiliation, education, and even their initials. The study was conducted by Jon Levy and Moran Cerf of the Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management, and Devin Markell of Hinge. According to an article in Business Insider, they analyzed the outcomes of more than 421 million potential matches on the app to see how similarities in certain traits affected the likelihood of people matching. This included assessing indications of users wanting to communicate outside the dating app.

How Much User Data is Facebook Dating Collecting?

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Facebook Dating User Data Privacy

Facebook Dating just launched, but privacy advocates are warning despite all the opt-in features, Facebook could be collecting more data than you realize.

Facebook Dating is reassuring potential customers by allowing them to make decisions about how visible they want to be on the app – including providing features to block certain users from appearing in your matches (like an ex) and hiding your dating profile from friends and work colleagues. Even some of the more questionable features – like “secret crush” – where you can identify someone you secretly like over the app, and if they do the same you two are matched, are only activated when users choose them.

Facebook Dating Launches in US as Privacy Concerns Loom

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Facebook Dating now available in the United States
Image: Facebook

Facebook Dating made its much-anticipated debut in the US on September 5th, but concerns about its privacy issues have overshadowed the excitement in media coverage of the app.

Facebook was recently ordered by the Federal Trade Commission to pay about $5 billion in fines for privacy lapses, including its maligned partnership with Cambridge Analytica leading up to the 2016 elections. And most recently, the Attorneys General of eight different states have launched an anti-trust investigation of the company, specifically concerning the company’s privacy practices and purchases of WhatsApp and Instagram.

Still, Facebook Dating is betting on its wealth of personal user data as a competitive advantage for creating better matches to directly compete with apps like Tinder. (Match Group saw its shares fall 5 percent on the day Facebook Dating was launched, a sign of investor concerns about the new competition.)

New Study Finds Dating Apps Have More Access to Personal Information Than You Think

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Dating app users often don’t realize how much personal information they are giving away just by signing up. But Datingroo, a U.K.-based online dating research company, has released a new study that shows exactly how little privacy most dating app users have.

Datingroo studied the ten most popular dating apps from Tinder to PlentyofFish to eHarmony, examining 45 personal data access points in 13 categories such as precise location, other accounts on the device, network connections, and modification or deletion of the contents on USB storage, and found some surprising results.

Among all the apps, Badoo and PlentyofFish have access to the most data in user’s devices (92% of all access points studied). Combined, they have more than 522 million users worldwide, which means they have access to an enormous amount of information. Coffee Meets Bagel has the fewest users (7 million), as well as the least data access.

Tinder Launches New Safety Feature for LGBTQ Travelers

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Tinder Travel Alert Screen Capture
Image: Tinder

Tinder has announced a new safety feature for those in the LGBTQ community who are traveling abroad.

The new “Traveler Alert” feature allows users to hide their profiles on the app when they feel unsafe traveling in countries and regions that criminalize same-sex acts, according to website Lifehacker. International travelers are subject to the laws of other countries, so it puts LGBTQ folks especially at risk. There are currently 69 countries that persecute same-sex acts, and nine of these allow the death penalty to be imposed, including Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Tinder’s website stated: “It’s important to exercise extra caution if you choose to connect with new people in these countries - as some law enforcement have been known to use dating apps as tools for potential entrapment. Some countries have also recently introduced laws that criminalize communications between individuals on same-sex dating applications or websites and even aggravate penalties if that communication leads to sexual encounters.”