I would love for the film to raise a discussion around dating app culture and online dating and sexual violence. I was really not aware of this, I would say, relationship between dating apps and rape culture before I started interviewing young women for the film.
Every European citizen is allowed to do so under EU data protection law, yet very few actually do, according to Tinder.
With the help of privacy activist Paul-Olivier Dehaye from personaldata.io and human rights lawyer Ravi Naik, I emailed Tinder requesting my personal data and got back way more than I bargained for.
Some 800 pages came back containing information such as my Facebook “likes”, links to where my Instagram photos would have been had I not previously deleted the associated account, my education, the age-rank of men I was interested in, how many Facebook friends I had, when and where every online conversation with every single one of my matches happened … the list goes on.
Reading through the 1,700 Tinder messages I’ve sent since 2013, I took a trip into my hopes, fears, sexual preferences and deepest secrets. Tinder knows me so well. It knows the real, inglorious version of me who copy-pasted the same joke to match 567, 568, and 569; who exchanged compulsively with 16 different people simultaneously one New Year’s Day, and then ghosted 16 of them.
“What you are describing is called secondary implicit disclosed information,” explains Alessandro Acquisti, professor of information technology at Carnegie Mellon University. “Tinder knows much more about you when studying your behaviour on the app. It knows how often you connect and at which times; the percentage of white men, black men, Asian men you have matched; which kinds of people are interested in you; which words you use the most; how much time people spend on your picture before swiping you, and so on. Personal data is the fuel of the economy. Consumers’ data is being traded and transacted for the purpose of advertising.”.
In May, an algorithm was used to scrape 40,000 profile images from the platform in order to build an AI to “genderise” faces. A few months earlier, 70,000 profiles from OkCupid (owned by Tinder’s parent company Match Group) were made public by a Danish researcher some commentators have labelled a “white supremacist”, who used the data to try to establish a link between intelligence and religious beliefs. The data is still out there.
Eliza, 29, said she’d mostly abandoned using swipe apps for their intended purpose. “Tinder transitioned from being a thing where I actually wanted to meet people to being, ‘I’m bored, tell me I’m pretty,’” she said. “I don’t really meet people on it anymore.”
Talking to women in their 20s and 30s about the ways they avoid swipe burnout (or at least make swiping more pleasant), almost all of them said basically the same thing as Serena, 34: “I can only stand dating apps at this point because I delete them frequently. It feels less like a full-time job that way.” She was contemplating joining Match.com, one of the oldest and most traditional dating sites, in hopes that it might mean sifting through fewer profiles in search of decent, mature people looking to go on real dates.
p. 172 there is no doubt that digital technologies and social media have contributed to a major alteration in people’s interpersonal communications and relational practices. Inter- personal communications have substantially altered, at least in Western and developed countries, as a result of the culture of increased connectivity that has emerged from social media’s engineering sociality (van Dijck, 2013 ), which allows anyone to be online and to connect to others. Physical presence is no longer a precondition for interpersonal communication.
The Pew Research Center ( Smith & Duggan, 2013 , October 21) indicates that one in every ten American adults has used an online dating site or mobile dating app to seek a partner, and that in the last eight years the proportion of Americans who say that they met their current partner online has doubled. Another study conducted by the same organization ( Lenhart & Duggan, 2014 , February 11) shows that 25% of married or partnered adults who text, have texted their partner while they were both home together, that 21% of cell-phone owners or internet users in a committed relationship have felt closer to their spouse or partner because of exchanges they had online or via text message. Another 9% of adults have resolved online or by text message an argument with their partner that they were having difficulty resolving person to person ( Lenhart & Duggan, 2014 , February 11). These results indicate that digital technologies are not simply tools that facilitate communications: they have a substantial impact on the way humans interact and relate to one another. In other words, they affect the dynamics of interpersonal relations
the impact of social media on dating patterns (e.g. more like shopping around for a commodity) and dating relations (e.g. more temporary, unstable), along with many positive effects as well
1. Goal: introduce students to” a) social media b) the sociological impact of social media on family and dating issues
2. Learning outcomes: a) at the end of the session, students will have firm grasp of popular versus peer-reviewed (academic resources). b) students will be able allocate sources for information c) students will be able to evaluate [and compile? Zotero] information d) students will be able to discuss the impact of social media in general e) students will be able to discuss and evaluate the impact of social media on family and dating f) at the end of the session, students will understand the concepts of netiquette and privacy (digital citizenship, digital anthropology)
3. Possible q/s for the class:
a) why Tinder, Hinge, etc.?
These are the best pickup lines with the highest success rates, according to dating app Hinge
c) how do family values change, based on the changes in [online] dating?
d) how does online dating differ across race, gender, sexual orientation, age and cultures
e) privacy, security, surveillance
f) mail brides on steroids? how does online dating apps change dubious practices?
g) does online dating impact marriages? are marriages better or weaker after online dating?
Finkel, et al. (2012).Online Dating: A Critical Analysis From the Perspective of Psychological Science. Psychological Science in the Public Interest. 13(1), pp. 3–66. http://www3.nd.edu/~ghaeffel/OnineDating_Aron.pdf
the authors say “yes” to online dating but “we see substantial opportunities for improving the way online dating is practiced. Some of this improvement can come from closer collaboration between scholars and service providers.”
UWire and The Guardian have a long list of reports. Academia.edu has also plenty of serious academic research. While UWire and the Guardian are explicitly centered on the Anglo-Saxon world (with one exception of report on Iran), Academia.edu presents a great choice of cases from around the world (different cultures) in mostly serious academic research
Toma, C. L., Hancock, J. T., & Ellison, N. B. (2008). Separating Fact From Fiction: An Examination of Deceptive Self-Presentation in Online Dating Profiles. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 34(8), 1023–1036. http://doi.org/10.1177/0146167208318067
Cacioppo, J. T., Cacioppo, S., Gonzaga, G. C., Ogburn, E. L., & VanderWeele, T. J. (2013). Marital satisfaction and break-ups differ across on-line and off-line meeting venues. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 110(25), 10135–10140. http://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1222447110
Masden, C., & Edwards, W. K. (n.d.). Understanding the Role of Community in Online Dating. In Proceedings of the 33rd Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 535–544). Seoul, Korea. http://doi.org/10.1145/2702123.2702417