Albania Hosts Online Dating Safety Summit

Dept of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications

Minister for Communications, the Hon Michelle Rowland MP and Minister for Social Services, the Hon Amanda Rishworth MP will convene the National Roundtable on Online Dating Safety in Sydney today.

Expert voices from the online dating industry, state and territory governments, law enforcement, academia and NGOs will examine ways to better protect Australians when using online dating and matchmaking services.

This includes considering options to prevent exploitation of online dating services, support users who experience harm, encourage safe online dating practices and pursue continual safety improvements by online dating companies.

A recent report by the Australian Institute of Criminology found that three in every four survey respondents had been subjected to sexual violence facilitated by dating apps in the last five years. Sexual harassment was the most common form of behaviour reported, as well as abusive and threatening language, and unsolicited sexual images.

The Roundtable will give the Government, industry, law enforcement, and other participants an opportunity to discuss ways to address gaps in the system – and what more can be done by all parties to keep Australians safe when using online dating platforms.

Attendees include senior executives from Bumble, Grindr and Match Group (the parent company of Tinder, Match.com, OkCupid and others), experts from civil society organisations working in women’s safety, and those representing First Nations Australians, Australians living with disability, the LGBTIQ+ community, migrant communities and young people.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Communications, the Hon Michelle Rowland MP:

“The Government is concerned by unacceptable levels of abuse and harassment, which was exposed by a report by the Australian Institute of Criminology.

“The roundtable will hear directly from the online dating industry about their efforts to prevent violence and abuse arising from the use of their services.

We’ll hear from experts working in the field about the extent of this problem and what governments, digital platforms, and civil society can do to address these issues and improve safety for Australians.”

Quotes attributable to Minister for Social Services, the Hon Amanda Rishworth MP:

“Today’s National Roundtable is a valuable opportunity for everyone to come together and discuss how to end gender-based violence experienced by Australians using online dating services.

“Dating app violence is gender-based violence. And like all forms of violence, we need to challenge and change the attitudes that lead to this violence occurring in the first place. We must create communities – both in the physical and virtual world – where everyone is treated equally and with respect. This begins with promoting gender equality.

“The Government’s National Plan to End Violence Against Women and Children 2022-2032 recognises the need to address technology-facilitated abuse, as a matter of urgency if we are to achieve our ambition to, end gender-based violence in one generation.

“Everyone deserves to live a life free of violence no matter where they are – and this includes online.”

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