Flirting with danger: Singapore teenagers on Tinder

Flirting with danger: Singapore teenagers on Tinder

Despite “security system” in position, teenagers are utilizing dating applications like Tinder to meet seniors.

A person in Singapore on Tinder. (Document photograph: Nisha Karyn)

Lianne Chia

SINGAPORE: inside her Tinder profile picture, “Rachel” sticks the woman tongue out playfully within camera, and has now a flowery wreath digitally superimposed atop their very long, wavy locks. The girl visibility says this woman is 18 years of age.

a click on the photograph discloses the truth – in her Tinder bio, Rachel claims the woman is only 14.

A check from the preferred US-based relationship app demonstrates the woman is not by yourself. With the profile of a 21-year-old male, route NewsAsia spotted a lot more than 30 users of babes in Singapore just who authored they had been below 18 in their biographies, although their particular recognized visibility era got above that. Some mentioned these were as young as 14.

Many of them shared the schools they sign up for, and some have visibility images of themselves dressed in college uniforms. Multiple also unveiled personal details like their name, as well as their reports on various other social media platforms like Snapchat and Instagram.

Polytechnic college student “Jasmine” advised Channel NewsAsia she joined up with Tinder when she got 16 as their friends and friends were also making use of the app. “I thought it would be fun observe my personal friends and maybe actually my personal lecturers on it,” she stated. “My moms and dads performedn’t see.”

“I faked my personal era on Twitter years back so I might get a visibility before we transformed 13. But Tinder got my personal years from Twitter and set they for my situation,” she discussed. In order to join Tinder, consumers must connect their own fb profile towards software. The software will likely then generate a user’s era depending on how outdated these are generally on the Twitter visibility.

She included that she did not say the woman actual get older on her Tinder profile, but would unveil it into the males whom messaged the lady. “Some replied several didn’t.”

Jasmine explained the lady event as “smooth and fun”, but said this could not need started the truth for a few of the girl friends. “lots of my buddies tell me that the majority of dudes question them for hook-ups. Whenever certainly my pals informed some guy she ended up being under 18, he still persisted. But it’s not happened to me before,” she mentioned, including that she has since removed the software.

A Tinder representative told route NewsAsia that there are security system in position to simply help examine the authenticity of each and every user’s information. While Tinder do let consumers get older 13 to 17 to become listed on, these people are only able to connect to more people in this exact same age groups on Tinder. This simply means they would not be able to see or communicate with users aged 18 and above.

“If we discover that a person has lied about local singles and single dating site their era in order to connect to consumers outside of their proper age group, we delete their profile straight away,” put the spokesperson.

But as Jasmine’s event shows, faking one’s get older on Tinder can be achieved as merely as modifying one’s years on fb.


The appeal of online dating applications like Tinder is in how fast and simply they could be accustomed create brand-new relations, in accordance with Dr Carol Balhetchet, older movie director of teens treatments during the Singapore Children’s people. “It’s fast, and you will create your image in order to make yourself look more attractive than the method that you come into people,” she stated.

“You additionally eliminate the social graces, in addition to awkwardness of satisfying somebody for the first time.”

The application by itself in addition has produced many buzz offshore, that has made youngsters right here wanting to test it for themselves, included Mr Chong Ee Jay, manager of not-for-profit institution TOUCH Cyber health.

He put that his company not too long ago done a straw poll of greater than 300 teenagers aged 16 to 18 from junior universities and polytechnics, and discovered that most of them got heard of Tinder.

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

“As soon as we asked all of them why don’t you attempt the version of Tinder for 13- to 17-year-olds, the standard teenager impulse was actually ‘you best real time once’”, extra Mr Chong, that is in addition an associate associated with mass media Literacy Council.

“They wished to enjoy lifestyle as an adult, and that’s why they ventured on the additional platform.”

A handful of them had been also on it for your excitement, he put. “Tinder have a reputation for being a ‘hookup app’, there are inappropriate affairs going on on the app, so that they wished to enter on it.

“Some associated with men additionally tried it as a system to consider ‘sexy women’.”


The risks are numerous. Mr Chong added that babes beneath the age of 18 might be starting on their own as much as challenging interactions, plus extreme cases, molestation if not rape.

“it’s my job to inform teens that when you look from the picture, you’ll never be positive it’s that identical people. You will never know until you meet up with the people the truth is,” the guy said.

“And once you meet that individual, affairs might go awfully wrong.”

Male consumers over the age of 18 could drop foul of laws whether they have gender with an underage female they satisfied on Tinder.

“Men want not only consent, but aware permission,” said Professor Ang Peng Hwa from the Nanyang technical University’s Wee Kim early class of interaction and Ideas. Well-informed permission ensures that someone’s years ought to be verified as opposed to having what they claim at face value.

“i believe which was the content that has been supposed to be distributed once we had the prosecution of men whom involved underage prostitutes.”

“I’m mindful making use of the women I communicate with,” stated 19-year-old Hao Ran, that has been using Tinder for just two decades. “If she’s a minor, it might probably simply continue to be at buddies and absolutely nothing more.”

He put the underage babes he sees typically set their unique genuine years to their biography, thus he knows to steer clear.

But other individuals state they have been paired with babes on Tinder exactly who later turned out to be underage.

“we as soon as matched a woman just who I imagined ended up being 18, but she got in fact 15,” mentioned 21-year-old “Khai”, exactly who wouldn’t wish to promote their name. “we attempt my personal best to ensure that the people I’m fulfilling was genuine and demonstrably of a particular era.

“It’s not my preference to go for young women, and even if they had been to ask us to meet up, i’d turn them all the way down because i believe I’d somewhat they consider their research, while I invest my personal opportunity talking-to people around my era.”

(Additional reporting by Alicia Tantriady.)