Tinder, with nine billion users and counting, may be the most popular dating app on the planet — but according to new research, it's also the worst for harassment.
In a recent study of “several hundred” dating app users, 39 percent of those on Tinder and 38 percent of those on OkCupid reported harassment at least once.
Individuals who use apps such as eHarmony and Match.com deal with harassment too, but to a lesser extent. Only 17 percent of all eHarmony users in the study reported abuse, while 21 percent of Match.com users reported harassment at least once.
Women, unsurprisingly, were more likely to report harassment than men. A full 57 percent of female respondents said they had reported harassment, while only 21 percent of males said the same. This doesn't mean 57 percent of female users have been harassed -- that number is most likely closer to 100 percent -- but just that 57 percent of women reported the abuse.
Save for swearing off dating and taking a vow of celibacy, there are ways to avoid -- or at least, lessen the occurrence of -- harassment while using dating apps.
First, reporting every incident of harassment (this means you too, men!) would give the app's developers a clearer picture of the type of behavior to look out for and make it easier to weed out inappropriate users and prevent future assaults.
Secondly, don't be afraid to block someone if they make you feel uncomfortable. Trust your gut -- it's usually right.
Finally, and most importantly, if you've been harassed, speak out about it. Doing so will give others the courage to do the same, and the more voices, the more powerful the message.
Get more tips for staying safe on dating apps here.