The Dating App Tinder: How can it impact your online reputation?
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New dating and social media sites are always popping up but beware: they can sometimes unintentionally expose you to online reputation management issues.
Take Tinder, for example.
Dating Social Media Apps Popularity
Tinder is an explosively popular dating app that gained popularity—or notoriety–during the 2014 Winter Olympics. It provides a simple, visual and anonymous way to connect with people.
Tinder has a reputation as a “hookup” app, which is sometimes well deserved, but it is used for dating as well, depending on the age group using it.
It has made millions of connections, and its popularity is increasing exponentially, and because of it, some are even using it for business networking.
What could go wrong, since it’s, for the most part, anonymous? Well, plenty. It could really impact someone’s online reputation in several ways. First, lets look more closely at the app.
What is Tinder?
It’s used primarily for casual online dating for adults. Basically, you see an image of someone in your area pop up on the screen. If you don’t like them, swipe left; if you think they are interesting, swipe right. If you both swipe right, you get connected, and you can text each other and take it from there; if either one swipes left, you will never see them again. This approach is cleverly unique, because there are no hoards of “spam” messages from people that like you but you don’t fancy.
So far, so good. But there are challenges that can impact an online reputation.
What Can Go Wrong
If a Tinder user’s anonymity is broken, disgruntled ex-business associates, recently fired employees or anyone with an ax to grind could exploit this by taking personal information and engage in an internet smear campaign. They could misconstrue an intention of meeting new people or making new business connections on Tinder as looking for hookup sex or wishing to have an affair. If information like this comes out online, it could result in ruined business, lost deals or broken personal relationships.
The Facebook Connection
One of the advantages to Tinder is its ease of use and its quick setup. No need to answer dozens of questions or enter extensive biographical information: its all there, minimal as it is, from Facebook, which is required for usage. Conveniently, it brings in text and images, making setup a breeze.
However, here are four challenges that many are not aware of.
1. Biographical Text
Often the text about you on Facebook is (very) personal and might be intended only for friends–not for broadcast.
Some personal information could include:
- Web sites–business, personal or both
- Other links that mention you, such as journals or articles
- YouTube channels or videos of you
- Twitter, Instagram and other social media platform addresses
- Business or job posting
- An upcoming appointment
- Even home phone numbers.
This all makes it extremely easy to identify the poster, and if someone is identified, then they are open to online reputation management problems.
2. Imported Images
A handful of Images are pulled directly from Facebook’s Public image folder into Tinder.
Although this makes setup easy, it could leave the user open to problems, however.
Having clearly identifiable photos can break the anonymity of the user. Also, images with other people shouldn’t be shared, as well as photos where locations can clearly be identified, such as apartment buildings (especially with the address showing or with a prominent landmark in the background), or a clearly identified business.
3. Shared Facebook Friends
Another element to Tinder is that shared Friends are identified and listed on the profile.
This can inspire more credibility and thus instill a certain level of trust in connecting with someone else.
However, it also makes it very easy to reveal the user’s identity. A Facebook Friend can see who they have in common and just search through their list of connections for the first name listed on the profile. Especially with a photo of the person, this can make identification very easy.
4. Facebook Groups
The last bit of information that is shared on Tinder are Facebook Groups, which are listed if you have any in common.
These can be a challenge because someone could see the Groups and look through them to identify the user. Also, the Tinder user might not want others to see what group they are part of.
Again, a disgruntled ex-employee or an old client who is on Facebook can find this information and might be able to use it to their advantage by writing negative things about the person.
How to protect yourself? Here are some ways to minimize online reputation damage when using Tinder.
Tips to Protect Your Online Reputation
1. Update the Imported Text
The first way to to protect your web reputation is to change the bio text that’s imported to Tinder.
Remove anything and everything that has external websites or other links to elsewhere and replace it with a generic, general description about yourself.
2. Review and Edit Images
Next, be careful of the images that are displayed. Selectively add images to Facebook that show only part of your and not your face, don’t show anyone else, and avoid including specific details about the location.
3. Limit Personal Information
Finally, the best way to protect your online reputation is to share little or no personal information on the web.
I know Tinder is about connecting with others, but avoid including details and be mindful of mutual Friends, Groups or common Interests.
There will always be new social media apps or sites that come in fashion, but with them come new online reputation management challenges.
See Related Article: 25 Free Online Reputation Management Tips and Tools