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Discouraged by violence on dating apps

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Quebec women can no longer stand the violence they witness through dating apps. According to them, the efforts of the tech giants are not enough to curb the problem.

Margot Chénier created the Instagram account A dynamic boy to expose hateful, discriminatory or misogynistic comments found on applications such as Tinder and Bumble.

“Tinder only sends me fat LGBT people. […] In 6 years on Tinder, no pretty girl liked me. Fake if you ain’t fat and don’t have purple hair swipe right,” wrote a 39-year-old man in her profile description.


Margot

Screenshot of a dynamic guy’s Instagram page

“What do you do to a girl who steals your cigarettes?” I beat you. (tobacco),” another user wrote in a cheesy joke he sent to a woman.


Margot

Screenshot of a dynamic guy’s Instagram page

The issue of dating app violence will be addressed on the show Itonight at 21:30 on TVA.

Some of the comments made by the men are so shocking that Instagram has removed several posts from the page Margot created.

“I sent them a message to explain that it was a complaint of the content, that it was not my words, Instagram has never responded to me on this,” says the young woman.


Margot

Screenshot of a dynamic guy’s Instagram page

The account is still active, but Margot no longer adds new content to it.

Assault

Anne-Marie Dupras, comedian and lecturer, launched the Facebook page My life in love with shit, about 10 years ago, among other things to denounce this violence. She notes that users of dating applications find it difficult to accept rejection, even if it is virtual.

“When you go on a date, what works, one time out of five, but on the internet you should always say yes. There are guys who get really angry,” she complains.


Margot

Screenshot of a dynamic guy’s Instagram page

A young woman whose identity we are protecting claims that she was the victim of a sexual assault following a meeting through the Bumble application.

“Once at my house, he wanted to do a sex act that I didn’t want to do. […] Over time, he would try again himself. At some point, you’re so tired of repeating no, there’s so much insistence. He did not respect my consent. […] I just waited for the moment to pass. »

More protection

Jessica Pidoux, a researcher at Sciences Po’s Center for European Studies, believes the companies behind dating apps should adopt moderation best practices or even mandate more verification during registration.

“The problem is that the creation of applications today passes through technological innovation,” he says, hoping that companies take greater account of the dynamics in building romantic relationships.

A Bumble spokesperson says via email that anyone who violates the guidelines can be blocked or reported, and reports are reviewed by the team. The company has also set up a Safety and Wellness Center with consultancy in particular.

THREE QUARTERS OF USERS VICTIMS

A study by the Australian Institute of Criminology, released this autumn, reveals that nearly three-quarters of dating app users have experienced at least one form of online violence in the past five years.

  • 69% of respondents have experienced some form of sexual harassment
  • 41% received an unsolicited intimate photo
  • 45% they received abusive and threatening comments

IN THE PENAL CODE

In 2014, Article 372 of the Penal Code on Indecent Communications and Harassment was amended to take account of telecommunications.

372-2 (Indecent communications)

“This offense targets the mode of conversation which should be virtual and which will be done to alarm or annoy someone,” explains Me Amélie Rivard, of the Director of Criminal and Criminal Prosecutions (DPCP) .

372-3 (Harassing communications)

“These are communications that will be repeated. This repetitive nature really underlies the offense and there still has to be a definite intention to harass the person receiving them,” says Me Rivard.

These two offenses can be punished with up to 2 years in prison.

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