Safety tips to make ‘Facebook Dating’ experience worth your while
MANILA, Philippines — Nowadays, a “happy ever after” no longer just begins in a random bump at a school canteen, or being high school sweethearts, or by giving in to blind dates recommended by common friends for breakthroughs in technology also gave birth to finding “The One” in the virtual world of online dating.
Online dating has opened people to a “bigger pond” of probable partners and made dating life more convenient as communication is less complicated and dinner dates are easier set.
Users, however, have to be careful with possible issues faced by the nature of technology and online dating such as privacy, anonymity, and scams.
“Online dating is scary for some people because you get a lot of scams, fake profiles, catfishing — all of these stuff make online dating have a really bad reputation,” Facebook Dating Product Manager Charmaine Hung said during the product’s pre-launch press briefing.
Facebook on Wednesday launched “Facebook Dating” that allows users to to match with other people based on their preferences and interests.
With the introduction of this latest feature in Facebook, the social media giant issued the following safety tips that users need to remember:
- Be careful with sharing personal information
While Facebook requires the first name and age of the user, sharing of other personal information such as last name, home address, and workplace, among others, depends on the user.
2. Facebook Dating offers a block and report option if the other party is being inappropriate
Similar to Facebook, a user can easily report or block another user who is being inappropriate or is making others feel uncomfortable on the platform.
“We have brought some features from the Facebook app to the Facebook Dating platform like the blocking and reporting option [so users have a choice once they feel uncomfortable],” Hung said.
3. Watch out for scammers
Scammers may create fake accounts to look for victims through online dating applications.
“Facebook Dating chat is only text-based. No photos, videos, payments… Facebook has a criteria to determine if an account is fake or not,” Hung said.
Some indicators that you are talking to a scammer include persistence to talk outside the platform, asking you to send gifts or finance travel for your meet-ups.
4. Really get to know the person first before meeting
Since online dating only usually involves text messaging, getting to know the other party before meeting up in person is a must. Keep communications on the Facebook Dating platform first and try to check if there really is a chemistry even before meeting up.
“We have our own chat functionality inside Facebook Dating. A user’s own messaging service is really personal for them so we want users to be able to feel that trust with someone before wanting to move it to messaging service outside Facebook Dating,” Hung said.
5. Share the location of your dinner date to your family or friends
If you have decided to take it another notch higher and meet up in person, share the location of the date to your friends or family.
Facebook said they are working on allowing users to share their live location to friends and family of choice through Facebook Messenger.
“[One tip is to] screenshot the other person’s photo and text your friends, ‘Hey, I’m going to this bar at this time with this person, if you don’t hear from me in two hours, please call me’,” Hung said. /kga
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