Putting Safety First – Support Tools

Use our self-assessment tools to review your safety measures and rules on behaviours on services.


How the ODA supports dating services as they put safety first

Dating services are part of everyday life for millions, often accounting for around a third of all new relationships in markets around the world.

With this reach comes new responsibilities and higher expectations. Politicians, law enforcement, consumer protection agencies and the media all have a real and ongoing interest in what is done to deal with the risks that might arise with new online relationships and first meetings in person.

The Online Dating Association’s (ODA) 2019 “Safety First” campaign came against this backdrop.

This activity builds on the ODA’s previous information campaigns to promote online dating as an enjoyable, safe and fun experience, including helpful advice on how daters can stay date safe.

Online behaviour issues can be a threat to a user’s enjoyment of services and their ability to make new relationships. At worst it can cause real and serious distress and harm to someone. Our industry has a responsibility to address these threats if we are to retain the confidence of users and regulators around the world.

As part of this drive, we will continue to refresh, expand, and share our ODA safety materials with the sector, with relevant agencies and others able to help promote great and safe dating.

Self-assessment tools for the sector

The ODA has produced self-assessment tools that services anywhere in the world can use to review their safety measures and their rules on behaviours on services.

These are:

  • Framework for User Safety: This is aimed at dating service providers. It is designed to help you review current practices to ensure they are meeting the current standards of best practice. We flag the key safety issues that services should have policies and procedures in place to address.
  • Model Code of User Conduct: this new approach to communicating with daters identifies the positive behaviours that they should adopt. We also flag those behaviours that are likely to be unacceptable on most, and possibly all, services. Too often these are lost in Terms and Conditions rather than put to daters in a clear and positive way.

These documents are not prescriptive, mandatory or binding. We aim to flag the core issues that should be addressed. As such, they are an aid to start up services and something existing dating services can use when they review the safety arrangements they have in place, and look at their Terms of Use and dater messaging.

The ODA has produced a Standards Package that addresses the many ways in which services can act to maximise trust and confidence when daters first start out on an app or online service, as they engage with others on the service, and afterwards when on a date.