Bleats

Dating Apps Have Registered Sex Offenders Lurking On Them, So Be Careful

Another excuse to delete those dating apps off your phone.

The ultimate end game of dating apps like Tinder is to delete them off your phone once you’ve managed to find someone cool. Well perhaps you should consider getting rid of a bunch of your dating apps regardless of whether you’ve found anyone because apparently there are registered sex offenders lurking around on them.

According to an investigation by ProPublica and Columbia Journalism Investigations, a bunch of dating apps owned by Match Group – a list that includes Tinder, OkCupid and Plenty of Fish – don’t have a clear screening process or policy for preventing registered sex offenders from signing up.

As a result of this, people end up swiping right on folks who were previously accused or convicted of sexual assault. The report analysed 157 cases of sexual assault and found that 10% of them involved users matching with a registered sex offender.

Not screening for sex offenders seems like a major oversight for a dating app company, especially one that owns big ones like Tinder and OkCupid, but a Match Group representative states that screening for criminals does actually happen on its apps… for the paid versions that is.

For the free versions, well, to quote the representative, “there are definitely registered sex offenders on our free products.”

Another Match Group spokesperson has since spoke to Business Insider and called the reporting by ProPublica and Columbia Journalism Investigations “disingenuous” and “inaccurate,” though they did not contest any specific facts reported in the story.

As extra clarification, the spokesperson said Match Group doesn’t collect enough info on free dating apps to “conduct meaningful background checks.” Yeah, that doesn’t sound as good as you think it does, champ.

Perhaps realising how that last quote sounded, the Match Group spokesperson then stated to Business Insider that:

“As technology evolves, we will continue to aggressively deploy new tools to eradicate bad actors, including users of our free products like Tinder, Plenty of Fish and OkCupid where we are not able to obtain sufficient and reliable information to make meaningful background checks possible.”

Now this reporting revolved around cases in America rather than Australia, but it doesn’t exactly instill confidence in the Down Under dating scene, which is already pretty damn tough as it is.

If you’re looking for a good excuse to delete Tinder, Bumble or all those dating apps off your phone, registered sex offenders lurking around on them is probably a good enough reason.

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Macquarie Dictionary Seems To Be Confused About The Definition Of 'Word'

Alexa, what is the definition of irony?

Macquarie Dictionary has this thing where they pick a “word of the year” every December that’s been the most accurate reflection of the past year’s Zeitgeist. For 2019, it decided the word of the year that most encapsulated those 12 months is none other than *drumroll please* “cancel culture.”

An overarching theme that defined 2019 was how everyone was increasingly trying to hold people, from entitled Hollywood types to crappy men, accountable for their problematic behaviour and “cancel culture” is a pretty good summary of this trend.

But there’s just one problem with Macquarie Dictionary’s selection: it isn’t a goddamn word, it’s two separate words.

You’d think that an institution dedicated to the preservation of the English language like Macquarie Dictionary would know what the definition of “word” means, but apparently it’s pretty flexible on how the language works.

Hell, in the post explaining how it picks its word of the year, the company even says it decides “on a single Word of the Year for the year that has passed” and it looks “at all the new words and new definitions that have entered the Macquarie Dictionary in the past year.”

But in a touch of irony that carries shades of those who have been called out by “cancel culture,” Macquarie Dictionary are eschewing accountability and doubling down on the decision to go with two separate words instead of one, stating that “technically, it’s a lexical term.”

What’s more slightly irritating is Macquarie Dictionary’s word of the year honourable mentions list. With equally applicable words like “eco-anxiety,” “ngangkari” and “thicc,” why did they have to go with the one word that isn’t even one word?

Now this isn’t the first time that Macquarie Dictionary have played jump rope with the definition of “word.” 2018 saw “Me Too” be named word of the year while 2017 had “milkshake duck” be bestowed the increasinly-inaccurate honour so don’t expect Macquarie Dictionary to change its modus operandi any time soon.

Two K-Pop Stars Have Been Jailed For Sexual Assault, Yet Fans Are Fighting With Each Other

Some fans would rather clarify the correct music genre than respecting the victims.

WARNING: This article discusses sexual assault and rape.

In a high-profile ruling from the South Korean courts (as per The Guardian), K-pop stars Jung Joon-young and Choi Jong-hoon have been sentenced to six and five years in prison respectively over charges of gang rape.

Both Jung Joon-young, a solo artist, and Choi Jong-hoon, a former member of the boy band FT Island, were found guilty of gang-raping two different victims on two occasions in 2016. Additionally, Jung was also also convicted of filming himself having sex with other women without their knowledge and subsequently sharing the footage without their consent.

According to the BBC, the pair will also have to do 80 hours of sexual violence treatment courses and are barred from ever working with children.

The verdict handed down by the Seoul Central District Court rejected the pair’s claim that the sexual encounters were consensual, stating (via Yahoo) that:

“Jung and Choi took part in gang rape of victims who were intoxicated and unable to resist.

“It is hard to fathom the extent of suffering the victims must have gone through.”

The verdict stated that the pair perceived the victims only as “sexual objects” to be exploited and declared “They should assume social responsibility in proportion to their fame and wealth.”

Needless to say that the conviction ruling of both Jung Joon-young and Choi Jong-hoon caused ripples among K-pop fans due to the high-profile nature of the case. However the reaction of some leaves much to be desired as some decided to get into petty online spats or just straight up trolling with each other rather than show respect to the victims.

But perhaps the most egregious comments are the ones unironically trying to clarify that Jung Joon-young and Choi Jong-hoon are actually K-rock stars rather than K-pop and folks should get that straightened out.

Yes, because clarifying the music genre is the most pressing issue in this case.

In a conservative country like South Korea, the minimum sentence for rape is three years. However, many people commented on the duration of the sentences for Choi and Jung and claimed the penalties are too lenient when compared to what the victims faced.

The sentencing of Jung Joon-young and Choi Jong-hoon is the latest incident in what’s been one of the biggest sex scandals in recent South Korean and K-pop memory, colloquially named the Burning Sun scandal.

Both Jung and Choi were reportedly only caught when Korean authorities were investigating a separate instance of illegal activity involving former Big Bang member, Seungri.

If you, or anyone you know needs someone to talk to, contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.

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