When you’re dating online, do you really know anything about your date before you meet them? You need to know your date before it’s too late.
Do you know what tools you can use to vet your date in advance? Well, here’s a couple you can try – and the one for Facebook is especially useful.
Why Does This Exist?
The creators of these apps were incensed by rape culture and the silence that surrounds it. After reading studies such as Lisak and Miller’s “Repeat Rape and Multiple Offending Among Undetected Rapists”, 2002, they noted that many rapists are repeat offenders, probably because they don’t even realise that their acts fit the profile. The creators also realised that through social media and a bit of coding we actually have the tools at hand to do something about it.
The creators began by building a predator alert tool for OkCupid, then expanded to creating tools for other social networks. It’s definitely worth checking out both the OkCupid and Facebook tools if you are currently dating regularly. I’ll explain the OkCupid one first though, as it helps to show the thought process of the creators and how the apps have evolved. The Facebook one is really quite something, and makes good use of Facebook’s privacy tools.
Get The Predator Alert Tool For OkCupid Working
Next, you need to install the “Predator Alert Tool for OkCupid” script (this link will give you the right script for your browser).
Here is a walkthrough by one of the co-creators, but it’s a little out of date.
What the script does first is ask all users to answer a short survey. As the Lisak and Miller study found out, many people will truthfully answer these questions in alarming ways. Later, if you are viewing the profile of someone who has given one of these questions a “red flag” answer, it will let you know.
“Have you ever been in a situation where you tried, but for various reasons did not succeed, in having sexual intercourse with an adult by using or threatening to use physical force (twisting their arm, holding them down, etc.) if they did not cooperate?”
Given that not all rapists will answer truthfully, and not all of them will install the script, there is another check in place. The script also searches the United States’s Sex Offender Registry with facial recognition by CreepShield.com. An “RSO facial match” percentage is shown next to their profile details so you can click to see more and verify if the picture does match if you wish.
Standalone Facebook App
After writing the OkCupid script, the creators also made a Predator Alert Tool app for Facebook, as they realized most people will stalk their date on Facebook before the event. From the GitHub help link, it’s clear that it’s the same user behind both the Greasemonkey/Tampermonkey script and the standalone Facebook app.
The Facebook app works a little differently to the OKCupid script though, as it asks users to submit warnings about people who have raped or abused them in some way. This allows other Facebook users to see warnings about profiles they are viewing, which could spare them from becoming the next victim. It also invites users to submit stories about themselves if they think they may have crossed the line and would like to invite a conversation from other users about the situation, which is an interesting way to educate people about their sexual behavior.
The app maintains the privacy of the person submitting information if they wish, and they can choose whether to only inform their own friends, or only with other sexual violence survivors, or anyone using the app.
Note, there is also a chance that your date is using a fake profile, so check out our tips on how to spot a fake Facebook profile.
Obviously, there is a chance of false reporting as all information is accepted into the database. However, with the chance that you might be able to avoid a date with a sexual predator, this is no doubt information that is personally of value to you.
Which Tool To Use?
Aside from the Facebook and OkCupid tool, the creator has now released a few other similar apps. From your perspective, all that really matters is if you’d like to install an app just for Facebook, or if you’d like to see information on OkCupid too. Also there is a slightly different approach to the information shown in each app, so it might be worth your while installing both.
Will This Help You?
Apps like this can only go so far in the quest to end sexual violence, but it clearly could also help people in a big way. It’s certainly a tool to add to the list of things parents can suggest to get their teenagers to use Facebook responsibly.
What do you think of this endeavour? Do you think it will help you and your friends? Tell us what you think.