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Cyber-bullying leads nowhere. Least of all to love.
At Match, we say cyberbullying is when a person sends messages repeatedly to the same person despite not getting a response.
These messages can undermine people’s happiness, dignity and mental health through their repetitive nature and the use of insulting, discriminatory and defamatory content, or of a sexual nature without mutual consent.
In order to fight against this type of behaviour, here are the rules you should follow:
If you receive pushy messages which make you feel uncomfortable, here’s how to alert us so it stops immediately:
Lara, our virtual coach, helps with the prevention and detection of cyberbullying. She will intervene if too many messages are sent to the same person without response. Lara will help you put an end to this situation.
Meeting new people is exciting, but you should always be cautious when interacting with someone you don’t know. Use your best judgment and put your safety first, whether you are exchanging initial messages or meeting in person. While you can’t control the actions of others, there are things you can do to help you stay safe during your Match experience.
Never send money, especially over wire transfer, even if the person claims to be in an emergency. Wiring money is like sending cash — it’s nearly impossible to reverse the transaction or trace where the money went. Never share information that could be used to access your financial accounts. If another user asks you for money, report it to us immediately.
Never share personal information, such as your social security number, home or work address, or details about your daily routine (e.g., that you go to a certain gym every Monday) with people you don’t know. If you are a parent, limit the information that you share about your children on your profile and in early communications. Avoid sharing details such as your children’s names, where they go to school, or their ages or genders.
Keep your conversations on the Match platform while you get to know your match. Because exchanges on Match are subject to our Safe Message Filters (learn more here), users with bad intentions often try to move the conversation to text, messaging apps, email, or phone right away.
Watch out for scammers who claim to be from your country but stuck somewhere else, especially if they ask for financial help to return home. Be wary of anyone who will not meet in person or talk on a phone/video call—they may not be who they say they are. If someone is avoiding your questions or pushing for a serious relationship without meeting or getting to know you first — that’s a red flag.
You know when someone’s crossed the line and when they do, we want to know about it. Block and report anyone that violates our terms. Here are some examples of violations:
You can report any concerns about suspicious behavior from any profile page or messaging window or here.
Be sure to pick a strong password, and always be careful when logging into your account from a public or shared computer. Match will never send you an email asking for your username and password information — if you receive an email asking for account information, report it immediately.
Take your time and get to know the other person before agreeing to meet or chat off Match. Don’t be afraid to ask questions to screen for any red flags or personal dealbreakers. A phone or video call can be a useful screening tool before meeting.
Meet for the first few times in a populated, public place — never at your home, your date’s home, or any other private location. If your date pressures you to go to a private location, end the date.
Tell a friend or family member of your plans, including when and where you’re going. Have your cell phone charged and with you at all times.
We want you to be in control of how you get to and from your date so that you can leave whenever you want. If you’re driving yourself, it’s a good idea to have a backup plan such as a ride-share app or a friend to pick you up.
Be aware of the effects of drugs or alcohol on you specifically — they can impair your judgment and your alertness. If your date tries to pressure you to use drugs or drink more than you’re comfortable with, hold your ground and end the date.
Know where your drink comes from and know where it is at all times — only accept drinks poured or served directly from the bartender or server. Many substances that are slipped into drinks to facilitate sexual assault are odorless, colorless, and tasteless. Also, keep your phone, purse, wallet, and anything containing personal information on you at all times.
It’s okay to end the date early if you’re feeling uncomfortable. In fact, it’s encouraged. And if your instincts are telling you something is off or you feel unsafe, ask the bartender or server for help.
When used correctly and consistently, condoms can significantly reduce the risk of contracting and passing on STI’s like HIV. But, be aware of STIs like herpes or HPV that can be passed on through skin-to-skin contact. The risk of contracting some STIs can be reduced through vaccination.
Not all STIs show symptoms, and you don’t want to be in the dark about your status. Stay on top of your health and prevent the spread of STIs by getting tested regularly.
Communication is everything: Before you get physically intimate with a partner, talk about sexual health and STI testing. And be aware — in some places, it’s actually a crime to knowingly pass on an STI.
All sexual activity must start with consent and should include ongoing check-ins with your partner. Verbal communication can help you and your partner ensure that you respect each other’s boundaries. Consent can be withdrawn at any time, and sex is never owed to anyone. Do not proceed if your partner seems uncomfortable or unsure, or if your partner is unable to consent due to the effects of drugs or alcohol.
Remember — even if you follow these tips, no method of risk reduction is perfect. If you have a negative experience, please know that it is not your fault and help is available. Report any incidents here, and consider reaching out to one of the resources below.
The Survivors Trust
0808 801 0818 I http://thesurvivorstrust.org/
Monday – Thursday, 10am – 9pm
Friday, 10am – 6pm
116 123 I www.samaritans.org
Family Planning Association and National Sexual Health Helpline
0300 123 7123 I www.fpa.org.uk | www.nhs.uk/oneyou/sexual-health#GQg7jL3q2A3Sm3BX.97
Monday – Friday, 9am – 8pm
National Domestic Violence Helpline
0808 2000 247 www.nationaldomesticviolencehelpline.org.uk
Additionally, please also report any incidents of a serious nature or suspicious profiles to Match on 020 386 85 628, or by email.
Match works closely with the Online Dating Association (ODA) to promote safe practice by its members and raise safety awareness. You can find the ODA Date Safe guidance for consumers here. This provides further helpful tips on how to keep online dating an enjoyable, safe and fun experience.