Flirting with hazards: Singapore adolescents on Tinder

Despite “security measures” positioned, youngsters seem to be making use of dating applications like Tinder to fulfill elderly people.

You in Singapore on Tinder. (Document photo: Nisha Karyn)

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SINGAPORE: within her Tinder visibility picture, “Rachel” sticks the girl tongue out playfully at digital camera, possesses a flowery wreath electronically superimposed atop her very long, wavy locks. The woman profile claims she is 18 years of age.

a go through the photo reveals reality – within her Tinder bio, Rachel claims she actually is merely 14.

A check associated with the prominent US-based matchmaking software shows the woman is not the only one. With the visibility of a 21-year-old male, Channel NewsAsia saw over 30 users of girls in Singapore whom published that they comprise below 18 within biographies, the actual fact that their unique official visibility years is above that. Some said they were as early as 14.

Many shared the education they go to, and some had profile photo of by themselves dressed up in college clothing. A few additionally revealed personal details just like their name, in addition to their profile on different social media marketing systems like Snapchat and Instagram.

Polytechnic beginner “Jasmine” informed route NewsAsia she joined up with Tinder whenever she ended up being 16 as the girl buddies and class mates happened to be furthermore with the app. “I was thinking it will be fun to see my class mates and possibly actually my lecturers on it,” she mentioned. “My moms and dads performedn’t discover.”

“we faked my personal era on Facebook in years past and so I might get a visibility before we switched 13. But Tinder grabbed my get older from Twitter and place they for my situation,” she discussed. In order to join Tinder, customers must connect their unique fb account toward application. The software will likely then build a user’s years depending on how outdated these are typically to their Twitter profile.

She included that she would not express the woman genuine era on the Tinder visibility, but would expose they toward boys whom messaged her. “Some replied and a few didn’t.”

Jasmine outlined the lady experiences as “smooth and fun”, but said this might not need already been the scenario for most of the lady pals. “Nearly all my pals tell me that many guys ask them for hook-ups. When certainly one of my buddies informed men she was actually under 18, he nevertheless persisted. But it’s maybe not happened certainly to me before,” she mentioned, including that she’s got since erased the app.

A Tinder spokesperson informed Channel NewsAsia that there are security measures in place to assist validate the credibility of every customer’s details. While Tinder do let consumers age 13 to 17 to participate, these users can only just relate genuinely to more customers because same age groups on Tinder. Meaning they’d be unable to thought or connect with customers aged 18 and above.

“If we learn that a person has actually lied regarding their era in order to interact with users outside of their unique suitable age-group, we remove their unique visibility right away,” put the spokesperson.

But as Jasmine’s enjoy reveals, faking one’s get older on Tinder is possible because simply as modifying one’s get older on Twitter.


The selling point of internet dating software like Tinder is in how fast and easily they can be familiar with develop brand-new interactions, relating to Dr Carol Balhetchet, senior movie director of young people treatments within Singapore Children’s Society. “It’s fast, and you may build the photo to create your self look more appealing than the way you are in people,” she mentioned.

“You furthermore eliminate all of the personal graces, plus the awkwardness of meeting someone the very first time.”

The application alone has additionally created lots of buzz overseas, that has generated youngsters here excited to try it on their own, extra Mr Chong Ee Jay, manager of not-for-profit department TOUCH Cyber Wellness.

He included that their service recently performed a straw poll of greater than 300 teens elderly 16 to 18 from junior colleges and polytechnics, and found that the majority of all of them had observed Tinder.

About 36 per cent of those have already been on Tinder as an adult consumer.

“As soon as we requested them you will want to attempt the form of Tinder for 13- to 17-year-olds, the typical teen feedback got ‘you just real time once’”, included Mr Chong, that is furthermore a part of the news Literacy Council.

“They planned to feel lives as a grown-up, which is the reason why they ventured on the different platform.”

A small number of all of them comprise furthermore inside it for the thrill, the guy added. “Tinder provides a reputation if you are a ‘hookup app’, so there happened to be unacceptable activities going on throughout the software, so they really wished to enter onto it.

“Some associated with the young men additionally used it as a system to check out ‘sexy women’.”


The potential risks are numerous. Mr Chong added that babes beneath the age 18 might be opening by themselves around challenging interactions, as well as in acute cases, molestation as well as rape.

“i determine young adults whenever you appear on image, possible never be certain it’s that same people. You will never know until you meet the individual in actuality,” he stated.

“And as soon as you see see your face, issues could go very incorrect.”

Male consumers over the ages of 18 could fall foul on the legislation whether they have sex with an underage woman they satisfied on Tinder.

“Men want not simply consent, but informed consent,” stated Professor Ang Peng Hwa from the Nanyang technical University’s Wee Kim Wee School of correspondence and Ideas. Informed consent implies that someone’s era ought to be verified without taking whatever they state at face value.

“i believe that has been the message which was intended to be sent once we met with the prosecution of males just who engaged underage prostitutes.”

“I’m careful making use of the ladies we keep in touch with,” mentioned 19-year-old Hao Ran, that has been using Tinder for just two many years. “If she’s a minor, it would probably simply stays at family and absolutely nothing considerably.”

The guy added that underage ladies the guy views frequently put their own actual era to their biography, so the guy knows to avoid them.

But rest state they have been paired with ladies on Tinder exactly who later on ended up being underage.

“we once matched a woman who I thought ended up being 18, but she had been actually 15,” mentioned 21-year-old “Khai”, who couldn’t should promote his name. “we decide to try my better to make sure the person I’m meeting is actually real and clearly of a specific age.

“It’s perhaps not my choice to choose more youthful ladies, plus should they comprise to inquire about me to get together, i’d become all of them lower because i do believe I’d fairly they focus on their unique research, while I invest my personal opportunity talking-to individuals around my era.”

(added reporting by Alicia Tantriady.)

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