Research into experiences with control features on social media and online dating apps

The Australian Government has released a research report which gauges Australian users’ awareness and confidence in using control features to protect themselves on online dating and social media apps.

The User Controls Research used focus groups and interviews to ask Australians aged 12–74 about their experiences using control features on social media services and dating apps. It found:

  • use of social media services and dating apps is growing, but users are not feeling safer.
  • While those social media services and dating apps examined have basic control features such as the ability to 'block' and report other users, the quality and availability of these features varies significantly across the different services.
  • There is limited knowledge of the more nuanced features offered by some services, and a lack of awareness of third-party solutions.

The research also found that Australians are more likely to use a service and recommend it to others if they had access to effective control features, including safety features that allowed them to take control of their online experiences.

The research was conducted by Monash University on behalf of the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts.

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