Flirting with threat: Singapore teenagers on Tinder

Despite “security system” set up, teenagers appear to be making use of online dating software like Tinder to generally meet the elderly.

Individuals in Singapore on Tinder. (File pic: Nisha Karyn)

Lianne Chia

SINGAPORE: within her Tinder visibility pic, “Rachel” sticks the woman language out playfully at digital camera, and has now a flowery wreath digitally superimposed atop her lengthy, wavy locks. This lady profile states the woman is 18 yrs old.

a click the picture discloses the facts – in her Tinder bio, Rachel states she is just 14.

A check associated with common US-based relationships app shows she actually is not by yourself. By using the visibility of a 21-year-old male, Channel NewsAsia watched over 30 pages of ladies in Singapore just who composed which they are below 18 in their biographies, even though their particular official visibility years got above that. Some said these were as early as 14.

Many uncovered the education they go to, plus some had profile photographs of on their own dressed in school uniforms. Various furthermore unveiled personal stats just like their full name, as well as their profile on different social media marketing platforms like Snapchat and Instagram.

Polytechnic scholar “Jasmine” told Channel NewsAsia she joined Tinder when she had been 16 as this lady family and classmates happened to be in addition by using the application. “I was thinking it would be fun observe my friends and perhaps also my personal lecturers upon it,” she said. “My mothers didn’t understand.”

“we faked my years on fb in years past and so I could get a profile before I turned 13. But Tinder grabbed my era from Facebook and place they for me personally,” she demonstrated. In order to join Tinder, users must connect their unique Facebook account toward software. The app will establish a user’s age depending on how older they truly are on their myspace profile.

She included that she couldn’t express this lady real years on the Tinder visibility, but would expose they towards the guys whom messaged this lady. “Some responded plus some performedn’t.”

Jasmine outlined the girl experiences as “smooth and fun”, but said this may n’t have been possible for a few of her buddies. “a lot of my buddies tell me that many dudes ask them for hook-ups. Whenever certainly my friends informed some guy she had been under 18, he however persisted. But it’s maybe not happened certainly to me before,” she mentioned, adding that she has since erased the application.

A Tinder representative informed station NewsAsia there are security system positioned to aid validate the authenticity of every user’s details. While Tinder do allow customers years 13 to 17 to become listed on, these users can only get in touch with additional consumers in this exact same age groups on Tinder. What this means is they might not be able to see or connect with people elderly 18 and over.

“If we discover that a person enjoys lied regarding their years so that you can connect with luxy consumers beyond their appropriate age group, we remove their own profile straight away,” put the spokesperson.

But as Jasmine’s experience shows, faking one’s age on Tinder is possible as just as changing one’s era on fb.


The appeal of online dating applications like Tinder consist how fast and easily they could be used to develop new interactions, based on Dr Carol Balhetchet, elder director of Youth treatments in the Singapore Children’s culture. “It’s quickly, and craft your picture which will make your self look appealing than the method that you have been in individual,” she mentioned.

“You furthermore do away with all the personal graces, and the awkwardness of fulfilling some one for the first time.”

The software it self has additionally generated most hype offshore, with made youngsters right here keen to test it out for themselves, extra Mr Chong Ee Jay, manager of non-profit department TOUCH Cyber health.

He put that his agencies not too long ago performed a straw poll of greater than 300 teenagers aged 16 to 18 from junior colleges and polytechnics, and found that the vast majority of them have been aware of Tinder.

About 36 per-cent ones have been on Tinder as a grown-up user.

“As soon as we requested all of them you will want to sample the version of Tinder for 13- to 17-year-olds, the normal teenager responses was actually ‘you best live once’”, extra Mr Chong, who is additionally a part from the mass media Literacy Council.

“They desired to experience existence as a grownup, which is the reason why they ventured on the various other system.”

Some all of them had been in addition inside it when it comes down to adventure, he extra. “Tinder keeps a reputation for being a ‘hookup app’, and there were unacceptable activities taking place regarding the app, so that they wanted to be in onto it.

“Some in the young men also used it as a system to consider ‘sexy women’.”


The potential risks are many. Mr Chong included that babes beneath the ages of 18 maybe beginning on their own around frustrating connections, along with acute cases, molestation if not rape.

“it’s my job to tell teens that whenever you appear during the picture, possible not be positive it really is that same people. You never know until such time you meet with the people in actuality,” the guy stated.

“And once you satisfy that individual, things might go really completely wrong.”

Male users above the age of 18 could drop foul associated with the legislation whether they have intercourse with an underage woman they met on Tinder.

“Men absolutely need not only consent, but informed consent,” said Professor Ang Peng Hwa from Nanyang technical University’s Wee Kim early class of Communication and records. Well-informed consent ensures that someone’s age ought to be verified versus having the things they claim at par value.

“i believe that has been the content which was intended to be transmitted when we encountered the prosecution of males who interested underage prostitutes.”

“I’m cautious with the girls I keep in touch with,” said 19-year-old Hao Ran, that has been utilizing Tinder for two many years. “If she’s a minor, it might probably just remain at buddies and nothing considerably.”

He added that underage babes he sees typically set her actual era to their biography, so he understands to avoid them.

But others say they have been coordinated with women on Tinder whom after turned out to be underage.

“I when matched a woman which I imagined ended up being 18, but she ended up being in fact 15,” stated 21-year-old “Khai”, whom did not want to render his full name. “we shot my best to make sure the individual I’m meeting are actual and obviously of a specific era.

“It’s not my personal inclination to go for younger women, plus when they happened to be to ask us to hook up, i’d switch them straight down because I think I’d quite they consider their unique homework, while I invest my personal times conversing with some one around my personal years.”

(extra revealing by Alicia Tantriady.)