Online dating for under 18
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.Meanwhile, behemoth Tinder, despite banning the solicitation of “personal information from anyone under the age of 18,” openly welcomes underage users: In fact, in February 2014, Tinder’s Justin Mateen bragged that more than 7 percent of all users are between 13 and 17. “There needs to be, in my opinion, greater responsibility on the part of app creators and developers,” said Donna Rice Hughes, the president and CEO of the Internet safety group Enough Is Enough.
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.When I was growing up, we did a little flirting and playful messaging through AOL Instant Messenger (gasp!) and our Nokia black-and-white-display phones (double gasp!But that’s just a claim: There are no visible safeguards in place.And arguably, by inviting teenagers in to begin with, hook-up apps are inviting them to lie about their age.