Tinder launches panic button for date emergencies

While apps made dating easier, Tinder is now trying to make dating safer.

Its app, responsible for approximately 1 million dates a week, now has a panic button in case dates turn dangerous, its parent company Match Group announced Thursday.

Tinder partnered with Noonlight, a safety app that tracks users' locations and sends that information to emergency services when an alarm on the app is triggered.

"This is going to make people feel safer, especially women," said Julie Spira, author of "The Perils of Cyber-Dating." "Women get very nervous about going on dates with people they've never met before, so this takes it a step further."

Users who linked Noonlight to their Tinder profiles will be able to tell the app when they're going on a date.

If a user feels unsafe, she can quickly tap on a button on the app or keep her thumb on an icon if she's unsure: Once she lets go, she have 10 seconds to enter a pin before that silent alarm goes off. Then, the app's GPS would guide authorities to the scene.

The new safety measure is a welcome addition for daters across the globe, as dating apps have long faced criticism for failing to protect their users from harassment, sexual assault and abuse.

"Online dating and dating apps -- they're the number one way couples are meeting ... if something does happen, and it goes south, you have the ability to push that panic button, and that panic button will send a warning and a message that you could be in danger," Spira said.
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