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Do Online Dating Apps Lead to More Crime?

Dating has changed. Now people inspect profiles and assess suitable matches online. It seems safe enough, which must be why so many seek romance with dating apps like Tinder and Grindr.

But there is some concern that this sense of safety is deceptive as dating apps are increasingly mentioned in connection with crime reports. Are these apps responsible for more crime, asks The Guardian? Or are the apps now simply a part of our dating stories?

Online Dating Data

A report from Britain shows an increase in mentions of dating apps in association with crime reporting. The Guardian writes, "A recent freedom of information request has revealed that crimes with a connection to dating apps increased sevenfold over the past two years; from 55 reports in 2013 to 412 in the year to October 2015. Those crimes include some of the most frightening: rape, sexual grooming and attempted murder."

Sounds alarming, right? It is but it's not necessarily happening because of the apps. The increase may just be a result of more use of such tools to find love rather than caused by using them.

Meaning and Metrics

The numbers say something, of course. But they don't distinguish between correlation and causation.

With Tinder alone claiming 9 billion matches already, it's likely that a big part of the story these numbers tell is that more people now meet romantically online than ever before. That is not shocking news in view of how much more reliant society has become on tech generally.

Also notable, the numbers reflect mention of the apps in a report but not use of the tool by the perpetrator necessarily. So do the metrics say something about victims?

Again, it is easy to read meaning into metrics but difficult to distinguish between connections and causes. Stories change with the times and new technology inserts itself into all aspects of our lives, romance and crime alike.

Consult With Counsel

If you have been charged with a crime of any kind, speak to a criminal defense attorney. Many lawyers consult for free.

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