But Leech wants other protections, like giving users alerts about potential risks before they ever begin chatting with strangers.
Is this scaremongering, or is online dating truly putting users in danger?
John Leech thinks the situation is new, and dangerous.
A local council member in Manchester, in the north of England, Leech this year launched a campaign to make online dating companies commit to keeping their users safer.
Over the past four years, 17 people in the Greater Manchester area have reported being raped after using one of two apps, Grindr and Tinder, according to police statistics obtained by Leech through a freedom of information request.
Looking for your future partner online is no longer thought of as something reserved for only the socially awkward or desperate.Although online dating sites and mobile apps have changed how people date, the fact that dangerous people still exist has not. Pleasant Police Department has dealt with two instances of criminal sexual conduct (CSC) as a result of people who met using a social media site or dating application.The most recent incident involved a female student from Central Michigan University who was sexually assaulted after meeting up with a man she met on the mobile dating app Tinder.But fake profiles abound, sexual predators use the sites, and some common online dating behavior—like meeting alone after scant acquaintance, sharing personal information, and using geolocation—puts users at risk.Dating companies are being pushed to better protect users, but some seem reluctant to do more— or even to talk about whether there’s a problem.