Ahead of Valentine's Day 2021, Suzy Lamplugh Trust is calling for online dating platforms to better protect their users through more robust and transparent reporting procedures. We are also issuing personal safety advice for individuals dating online during Covid-19.

With a third lockdown in place, online dating has become the principal medium for people to meet romantically. Dating apps have seen a noticeable rise in activity as more people are at home with time on their hands. Match.com reported that their average number of subscribers grew 11% last year; while Tinder reported that the average conversation now lasts 10 to 20 times longer with most people at home and trying out online dating.

With drastic changes in the way we date, individuals now must follow the current Covid-19 restrictions, manage changes in mental health and grapple with a lack of face-to-face interaction. All this can be confusing. 

Suzy Lamplugh Trust has therefore issues guidance for users of online dating platforms to follow during these unprecedented times:

With this rise in online dating sadly also comes a rise in cyber abuse. Sky News reported that between June and August 2020 there were 600 reports of online dating fraud a month, with a 26% increase in reports to Action Fraud compared to the previous year. There have also been reports of hate speech and discrimination. Our report entitled 'Cyber Safety at Work' demonstrated that a third of all workers were experiencing online abuse, with 83% saying it escalated since the start of the pandemic.

Suzy Lamplugh Trust is therefore putting forward the following recommendations for online dating platforms: