Moroccans launch petition to combate predatory online dating platforms targeting minors

Moroccans launch petition to combate predatory online dating platforms targeting minors

Matqisch Weldi  organization has launched a call for action against dating platforms that target minors. The petition takes aim at European and French websites, which have reportedly extended their reach to Morocco, making them accessible to Moroccan minors.

The petition sounds the alarm on the surge in online dating platforms catering to both children and adults, fostering a ground for potential predators and endangering the mental and physical well-being of young individuals.

“The very existence of these sites and apps designed for children under the age of 13 is profoundly shocking and unacceptable… Immediate measures must be taken to counteract this mounting threat and robust regulatory measures should be enforced to thwart the exploitation and harassment of minors in the online realm,” the petition said.

Head of Matqisch Weldi Najat Anwar pointed out that “athough originating in France, these sites are accessible to young people across multiple countries. While the intended scope of the particular site in question is to foster connections among individuals aged 13 to 25, the reality demonstrates that this scope extends far beyond the initially defined boundaries.”

Expanding on this issue, Anwar told MoroccoLatestNews AR, “One of our NGO members, aged 24, established a fictitious profile – devoid of photos, but with a written description. Astonishingly, within less than half an hour, she received a barrage of requests and private messages of an overtly sexual nature, emanating primarily from profiles without images. Many of these profiles, after a mere 2 to 3 exchanges, revealed that their actual age far exceeded what was indicated on their profiles.”

“The platform discloses the location of the individual by city, functioning similarly to adult dating sites that display people in close proximity to the user,” she said.

“Our member’s profile originated from Morocco, and rapidly we observed a surge in local profiles. However, communication transcends geographical boundaries, elevating the risks. This exposes our youth to a global network of potential danger. Disturbingly, even with legitimate profiles of very young individuals, explicit sexual conversations are all too prevalent. There are instances of 18 to 20-year-old males soliciting explicit images from girls aged 13 to 14.”

Anwar highlighted the palpable lack of security control on these platforms, implying that such interactions might be tacitly encouraged, thereby exacerbating platform usage. “In a matter of seconds, our member received her first explicit message, underscoring the real peril posed to young people.”

Calling for immediate action, Anwar stated, “Morocco must implement stringent security measures and restrict access to these websites in order to shield our children from these predators.”


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