In fewer than three minutes, two teenagers “chatted” me, trying to trade pics. And under section 230 of the Communications Decency Act — the critical Internet legislation that basically allowed social networks to exist — a site operator can’t be held responsible for the misdeeds of its users, except in a couple very narrow circumstances.
In 2006, for instance, a Texas mother sued Myspace for gross negligence after her 13-year-old daughter met a 19-year-old man on the site and was sexually assaulted.
Nineteen-year-old Zach Anderson, center, was sentenced to 25 years on Indiana’s sex offender registry after he slept with a girl who lied about her age on the hook-up app Hot or Not.
Hot or Not is one of several hook-up apps that welcomes both children and adults. Young/Detroit News via AP) Zach Anderson, an Indiana teenager, was recently sentenced to 25 years on that state’s sex offender registry after he slept with a 14-year-old who told him she was 17.
Tinder will, for instance, only show adult users to other adults.
But it took me 15 minutes, and zero hoop-jumping, to falsely register as a 14-year-old looking to ~hook up.~ Meet Me, a Web-based hook-up app, had much the same process: in a couple of clicks, I was in — not as my 20-something self, but as a 14-year-old kid. COPPA, the federal statute that governs how Internet companies interact with kids, only applies to children younger than 14.
At ten times what it was last October, the app’s small user base (around 10k downloads on Google Play) is growing faster than your action figure collection. Why feel guilty for leaving Fluffy at home when you could organize a double date?It also has over 300 million users between its website and its app, which means a large dating pool, but also more scammers and fake accounts. Hinge matches you up with friends of friends based on your Facebook contacts. Users post an invitation to hang out and then choose from respondents whom they want to meet. Specify whether you’re using it for friends, a hook up or dating to make sure you find someone looking for the same. After an hour, the invitation, all chats and photos are erased. The pair met on the hook-up app “Hot or Not,” which prompted the judge on the case to bemoan, at length, the sexual mores of kids these days.But maybe His Honor should’ve directed the ire a bit higher, at Silicon Valley: After all, that’s where several companies are designing “adult” hook-up apps … Historically, the apps in this space have explicitly required that their users be above 18 or 21, whichever is the local age of majority.The classic dating site, OK Cupid’s app puts more thought into your matches than much of the gimmick-based competition, with more attention paid to the profile. Your pet is the ultimate wingman, and this way you can be the same for them.It requires a little more investment on your part, but you will learn more about your matches with this app than most others. It’s formatted like Tinder (but with more profile), it tells you if you’ve crossed paths like happn and you can use it for friends or dating like Bumble. If you want a quick way to find people who roll with the same crowd as you and don’t want to ask your friend about that cute coworker, Hinge could be the answer. The ironically named Pure is even more effective than Tinder for making casual, ahem, connections. Their 20-questions quiz goes beyond the basic info that a lot of other dating apps ask for.You find something you like—maybe you’re a Facebook fan, or a loyal Instagrammer, or a member of the cool Snapchat club—and you stick to it. Ever wonder if you’ve met your soulmate, but didn’t know it?If you’ve been dating via apps, you’ve almost certainly been swiping hard on Tinder. Happn matches appear in your timeline as you pass them in real life—link up the minute you match or later.But Hot or Not welcomes anyone over 13, the absolute minimum age set by a 1998 law that governs children’s online privacy.Down, the app formerly known as “Bang With Friends,” avows that its Web site isn’t “structured to attract” children, but never actually says they can’t come in.