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Gay dating app users warned to ensure sexual partners are above the age of consent

  • phylius1988

    ““Just because we’ve not received huge reports doesn’t mean this isn’t a major issue. Clearly the very dynamic of this kind of relationship means young people won’t report it.””

    Of course they won’t report it. 14 year olds want sex and they seek it out.
    Stay safe, people. Circumvent the stupid laws by all means possible.

    • Claire

      Pedophiles are sick individuals who deserve to be killed…

  • Mike Dalgarno

    It wont be long until apps with have age limits on them too. This isn’t something that I disagree with either. This app is clearly aimed at adults, so should it be available to under 18?

    If the users are thinking that it’s an adult site where the users are 18 or older, then they aren’t going to think that the person is underage.

    • http://twrl.github.com/ Tom Robbins

      Many of them do have age limits, but parents are frequently too thick to configure the parental controls correctly. I know one young man whose parents asked him to set up the restrictions on his own iPhone; how stupid is that?

      • Mike Dalgarno

        True, but parents can also contact their mobile companies and ask for a restriction to be added their too.

        Surely with a little bit of communication between supplier and app, they can then prevent this from happening.

        Again this is education on the parents behalf to make sure that they are taking steps to protect their kids.

      • Steve_R

        You hit on a very interesting point re phone settings. I read a very interesting article when smart phones first started to become popular.
        The article was to warn parents their kids were technically savvy and one step ahead of them. Many kids already knew how to change settings, delete call logs and disable GPS signals so their parents couldn’t spy on them. Parents were reporting “lost or stolen” phones in increasing numbers. Kids had also set up networks to exchange phones so that parents would think they were places they weren’t.

        We hear all the time about identity theft, probably the amongst the greatest guilty are under age. They steal or borrow ID for what ever motive or intent they have, knowing they “can’t do what ever!… unless they can mislead or misrepresent their age to some one older.

        No system is perfect, and no age check is flawless. Trust will always be broken by kids it’s part of growing up! “Are you 18 and legally of age to use this site, or download this app” sure, every kid under 18 is going to click NO! It’s all about adults beware, technology can innocently implicate you easier than vindicate you.

        Dating apps are all part of social network in today’s society… but one old rule still applies “User/Buyer beware and use with care!”

    • http://fxfp.com/ Alex F.

      App Store already requires confirmation that user is 17 or older to install anything remotely X-rated (including many social networking apps and ALL gay dating apps).

  • Mike

    As much as I agree that underage guys should be protected from predatory men, I think it’s almost impossible to tell if someone is of The Age of Consent. Young guys lie about their age just to get their first sexual experience and ID is often fake to the extent that the man on the street would have no idea if they were legal or not. If underage guys are drinking in bars, how is anyone to know for sure? People lie – period. But while I am in favour of laws to protect the young, I believe there has to be provision for young guys, that are themselves predatory, to be made accountable. I have had numerous young guys approach me online, and when I ask them to produce ID if we met, they suddenly can get mouthy or stop talking all together. I’ve even heard of cases of entrapment where guys are lured into meeting with someone only to be ambushed by organised factions; blackmail is just as wrong, and once the server is accessed you can be deemed culpable. Profiles are easy to manipulate and there doesn’t have to be anything on them that is genuine: any photograph or field can be untrue. Stay vigilant. There are always two sides to the coin – to say underage guys are online having lied, but later feel they are groomed is an anathema. If anything, the online sites must do more to keep underage users offline.

  • Arkadiusz

    Teenagers lie that they are adult and get into some dirty talks on the net? Come on, it’s what beeing a teenager is about. I can hardly see any problem here.

  • Mark Y

    The easiest way to solve this is to ban minors from having smartphones. That way adults can get on with being adults, and kids can be kids, and the puritans that are using kids to try and stop adults from being adults won’t have any power to do so. And parents won’t have to spend a ridiculous amount of money on expensive mobile phone bills for their children. If a kid needs a mobile phone for emergencies, then one of those cr4p phones that can only make calls is sufficient. But this will never happen because they do not really care about kids getting abused, they just want to stop adults from having casual sex.

    I saw a 14 year old kid on BBC news today saying how he’d been groomed after he went on grindr and met up with a 24 year old guy who took him out for meals, to the cinema, etc, and then sometime later had sex with him. What exactly did he think was going to happen? Why did he even contact the guy on an over 18 sex site? Did he think they were going to play scrabble and have a good chat? No, he wanted to have sex, that’s why he went on grindr and lied about his age.

    • Paul

      The BBC really is beginning to rival the Daily Mail in its attempts to outrage middle England.

  • Scott Masterton

    How can they possibly say that the child holds NO blame whatsoever? If it were anything else and they were a minor they’d be tried in a court of law as normal. We do send 10 year olds to prison in this country… I mean come on? If a 14/15 year old lies about their age then they share NO blame whatsoever? I’ll gladly put my hands up and say I wasn’t totally innocent at age 14/15, I knew what I was doing whenever I was being deceitful in situations similar to this. I’d tell a white lie about my age on my Gaydar profile (before the days of Grindr etc) in order to meet guys, albeit they were lads that were only a few years older than I. I knew what I was doing. And nearly a decade on do I regret it? No.

    I agree in most cases that the blame lays completely with the adult, as often the intentions are malicious and predatory. BUT if an underaged individual compulsively lies about their age, meets up with somebody, ends that person in hot water (including public humiliation, loss of career, prison sentence etc. because of their lie), then how is it fair that the blame is thrown entirely in the hands of the “adult” (who lets remember doesn’t need to be 45, they could be 18?!). What do the NSPCC suggest.. a challenge 21 policy above the bedpost? How is the adult supposed to gain complete certainty? I know many people 18+ who don’t have or carry with them driving licenses, nor would they carry around passports, of course. What is the adult supposed to do to ensure that absolute certainty? I really wish they’d elaborate rather than just come out with generalised statements that really don’t provide information or advice on anything. Just madness. These people are supposed to know these situations best, they’re supposed to know children best. If they’re going to warn dating app users then they ought to be more clear.

    • Sarah

      Pedophiles are sick individuals who deserve to be killed.

      • Mihangel apYrs

        so, anyone having sex with a pre-pubertal child should be…

        oh.. you mean anyone having sex with a “child” under the age of consent. don’t you?

        Being a woman, you can’t understand the dynamics of male sexuality, so don’t try

      • JackAlison

        sick individuals are everywhere including sarahs

    • gingerlycolors

      The only safe thing to do is not to have sex with that person if you have any doubt about their age. Whether or not an under 16yo is blameless is a matter of debate but the law is quite explicit in saying that and under 16yo cannot legally consent to sex and therefore having sex with an under age person is effectively rape. This means that even if the U16yo is not blameless the onus rests mainly on the older person and as you are aware, ignorance is no defence under UK law.

  • http://twrl.github.com/ Tom Robbins

    I appreciate what the NCA are trying to achieve, but both they and the NSPCC seem to be taking an overly simplistic view. I think that’s irresponsible, both because it makes it difficult to address the problem and because of the wider dangers of equating homosexuality and paedophilia.

    They don’t seem willing to ask the question: why are underage people getting into this position in the first place? Grooming is a genuine concern, but via the medium of a hook-up app it’s somewhat different to on a general chat room, for example. I am not suggesting that victims of sexual abuse bear responsibility for it, but rather that we should identify and educate people about risks. This is the kind of thing that needs to be covered in mandatory SRE, but of course we’re not getting that.

  • John-UK

    Can I just CLARIFY an important point for UK citizens? The LEGAL age here in not 16- as you state- but 18. Its very important-because although the age of consent is 16 here-the age at which you can trade contact details via Grindr is EIGHTEEN! Its important because its a widely held misconception and you could unwittingly get caught out by this anomaly of 2 years.

    • http://fxfp.com/ Alex F.

      This is because Grindr is US-based and thus limits users based on US law. Age of consent in UK is 16.

  • Erica Cook

    How the hell are they supposed to make sure they are over 18? I agree that when there is sexual relationships between an adult and a minor the child isn’t at fault, but if the adult doesn’t know they are under 18 until later who’s fault is it? I’m sorry, but its the one who lied. This isn’t just a gay issue, I knew girls in highschool who joined dating services saying they were older than they were and they blaming the men. Before you condemn the site for having them, make sure there is a way to stop it. Why not add a code on ID that when entered into a site like this can show the age of the person for confermation. I agree kids need protected from themselves, but that isn’t by attacking adult site, it by making it easier to confirm someone’s age.

  • soapbubble

    I’m completely amazed that anyone under 20 ever contacts anyone over the age of 25 on the damn thing!! Let alone lying about being younger and contacting older people. In my experience, if you are over the golden threshold of 30 (which I am), then you are actively discriminated against by younger gay men on Grindr! I always tell the 25yr olds they have only 5 years of their youth left, and then they will fall apart and be left lonely and on the shelf forever *evil laughter*. I’m probably contributing to the problem :)

  • http://fxfp.com/ Alex F.

    Why did the article only include gay (or gay owned) apps?

    From the quick look of the App Store, there are tons of straight ones as well – not too mention that many of non-location based apps recently started adding this feature.

  • Jeny

    Yes, a lot of sex offenders on these sort of web sites!

  • ross_stalker

    The fact that under-16s are signing up for Grindr is indicative of a dearth of age-appropriate resources for LGBT youth. Of course any adult who takes advantage of this is 100% at fault but rather than simply instigating a moral panic we should be outraged that these kids feel the only way they can find someone who understands them is to lie about their age on a hook-up app.

  • JackAlison

    Typical red hot button issue.

    Get the gays thru using children as a sheild.The same child centred arguement was used against granting marriage equality.Why dont these people go find something better to do like finding out why same sex attracted youngsters are using gay apps

    ANSWER

    NO SAME SEX EDUCATION IN SCHOOLS

    RAMPANT BULLYING

    COMMING OUT IS STILL AN ISSUE IN THE 21st century

    saying the law is the law is a denial that will not solve the problem

    there should be a young gay app exclusively for young people

    BUT u can imagine the cries from the christians and this charity how our young peolple are being groomed and converted.

  • Walter Cruz

    Would YOU use Dattch? Tell us why… Robyn Exton is the Founder and CEO of Dattch, the Lesbian Dating App for women to date who they want, when they want, where they want http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3biTkkT1H4E

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