Flirting with danger: Singapore kids on Tinder

Despite “security measures” in place, teenagers be seemingly using internet dating software like Tinder to meet older people.

You in Singapore on Tinder. (Document pic: Nisha Karyn)

Express this content


SINGAPORE: within her Tinder visibility pic, “Rachel” sticks the girl tongue out playfully from the camera, and has a flowery wreath electronically superimposed atop the woman extended, wavy tresses. The lady profile states she actually is 18 yrs . old.

a click the photo reveals reality – inside her Tinder biography, Rachel reports the woman is simply 14.

A check of the well-known US-based matchmaking app shows the woman is not by yourself. With the visibility of a 21-year-old men, route NewsAsia watched above 30 profiles of girls in Singapore whom composed which they comprise below 18 within biographies, despite the reality her formal profile era was actually above that. Some mentioned they certainly were as young as 14.

Most of them uncovered the education they go to, several have profile photo of by themselves dressed in school clothing. A few additionally announced personal information just like their complete name, and their profile on some other social media platforms like Snapchat and Instagram.

Polytechnic pupil “Jasmine” advised route NewsAsia she joined up with Tinder whenever she is 16 as her pals and classmates are also making use of the app. “I thought it would be enjoyable to see my personal classmates and possibly actually my personal lecturers onto it,” she mentioned. “My parents performedn’t learn.”

“I faked my get older on Facebook in years past so I could get a profile before we turned 13. But Tinder got my age from myspace along with they for me,” she demonstrated. So that you can join Tinder, customers must link their unique fb account for the app. The app will likely then build a user’s years depending on how old they’re on their Twitter profile.

She extra that she couldn’t state the woman genuine age on her Tinder visibility, but would expose it on the guys which messaged this lady. “Some replied several didn’t.”

Jasmine expressed the woman knowledge as “smooth and fun”, but mentioned this could n’t have started happening for most of the girl family. “lots of my friends tell me that the majority of men inquire further for hook-ups. Whenever certainly my pals told a guy she was under 18, the guy nevertheless persisted. But it’s maybe not happened certainly to me before,” she mentioned, adding that this lady has since deleted the software.

A Tinder representative told station NewsAsia there exists security measures positioned to assist validate the credibility of each owner’s facts. While Tinder does allow customers years 13 to 17 to participate, these customers can only interact with other consumers in this exact same age groups on Tinder. This simply means they will not be able to thought or connect to people elderly 18 and above.

“If we learn that a user has lied about their era so that you can communicate with consumers outside of their own appropriate age bracket, we delete their own profile straight away,” extra the representative.

But as Jasmine’s knowledge reveals, faking one’s era on Tinder can be carried out because merely as changing one’s age on Facebook.


The appeal of dating programs like Tinder consist how fast and easily they can be regularly build newer interactions, according to Dr Carol Balhetchet, senior manager of young people treatments on Singapore Children’s community. “It’s fast, and you will build your own picture to help make your self look more appealing than the method that you have person,” she stated.

“You in addition get rid of the personal graces, as well as the awkwardness of satisfying somebody for the first time.”

The app itself in addition has created lots of hype offshore, which has produced teenagers here wanting to try it out on their own, included Mr Chong Ee Jay, management of non-profit company TOUCH Cyber health.

He extra that his service not too long ago carried out a straw poll greater than 300 teenagers elderly 16 to 18 from junior universities and polytechnics, and discovered that most of all of them had observed Tinder.

About 36 per cent ones got already been on Tinder as a grownup individual.

“As soon as we questioned all of them then sample the type of Tinder for 13- to 17-year-olds, the conventional teenager responses was actually ‘you only live once’”, extra Mr Chong, who is in addition a part associated with the Media Literacy Council.

“They wished to encounter existence as a grownup, and that’s why they ventured onto the different system.”

A small number of them are also in it for your adventure, he extra. “Tinder has actually a credibility if you are a ‘hookup app’, and there happened to be improper things happening on the application, so they desired to get in upon it.

“Some associated with the men furthermore used it as a platform to look at ‘sexy women’.”


The risks are numerous. Mr Chong put that ladies beneath the period of 18 might be starting on their own around challenging connections, plus in extreme situations, molestation or rape.

“i tell teens that whenever you appear from the photograph, you’ll never be positive it really is that same people. You will never know until you meet up with the people in reality,” he mentioned.

“And as soon as you fulfill that person, factors may go very incorrect.”

Men people above the period of 18 could drop foul of laws whether they have intercourse with an underage lady they came across on Tinder.

“Men actually need not only consent, but aware consent,” mentioned Professor Ang Peng Hwa from the Nanyang technical University’s Wee Kim early class of interaction and Facts. Updated consent implies that someone’s years ought to be affirmed rather than taking what they claim at par value.

“i believe that was the message which was supposed to be delivered wireclub when we met with the prosecution of men whom involved underage prostitutes.”

“I’m mindful making use of women I consult with,” said 19-year-old Hao Ran, that has been using Tinder for just two ages. “If she’s a small, it can probably merely stay at buddies and nothing considerably.”

The guy put the underage ladies he views typically place their own genuine age on the biography, so the guy knows to steer clear.

But other people state they’ve been paired with ladies on Tinder exactly who later ended up being underage.

“we once matched up a woman just who I was thinking had been 18, but she had been in fact 15,” mentioned 21-year-old “Khai”, whom would not need to give his complete name. “we decide to try my personal best to make sure the person I’m appointment was genuine and demonstrably of a certain years.

“It’s perhaps not my personal choice to choose young babes, plus if they happened to be to ask me to hook up, I would change all of them down because I think I’d quite they consider their homework, while I invest my personal time talking-to people around my get older.”

(added revealing by Alicia Tantriady.)