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Vulturing, 'eclipsing' And 'fleabagging' Explained: CPS Writes Official Guide To Online Dating For Prosecutors

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has drawn up a list of terms for its lawyers so they can understand the “new normal” of online dating where a third of relationships now start.

By explaining what each of the 50 practices involved, it said it would enable lawyers to contextualise the communications between a victim and suspect to ensure they avoided sexual stereotypes and understood the nature of consent.

Terms include 'vulturing' which is the act of staying in the shadows, awaiting the romantic failure of an acquaintance so as to exploit the leftovers, according to the guide seen by The Telegraph.

'Thirsty' means desperate while 'thirst-trap' entails posting a sexy photo on social media to attract attention. 'Roaching' is hiding the fact that you are secretly dating multiple people at the same time, while 'side-barring' is when someone looks on their phone throughout your date with them.

Siobhan Blake, rape lead at the CPS, said: “Unfortunately, harmful stereotypes about online dating still exist and are changing as the use of these sites continues to grow.

“To stay ahead of this, we continuously update the tools and guidance our prosecutors use - providing them with the latest insights to contextualise information and behaviours in court.

“Our role is to make it explicitly clear that consent is specific to the act - simply because someone consents to intimate photos or certain behaviours at one time does not mean that there is some sort of ‘blanket consent’ for other sexual activity.”

More sinister practices include 'doxxing' where a victim’s online information is analysed to later harass them. 'Eclipsing' is when someone becomes obsessed with their date’s hobbies or interests. 'Exoskeleton-ing' is when a date’s ex-partner repeatedly contacts you on social media.

The guide also advises prosecutors up to 60 per cent of young women using online dating sites have been sent unwanted sexually explicit images or experienced unwanted contact, information which could be used to show a suspect’s pattern of behaviour when presenting a case.

The language draws on popular culture including 'fleabagging' inspired by hit the BBC series Fleabag. This referes to someone who consistently dates people they are incompatible with.

Birdboxing', from the Sandra Bullock Netflix film Bird Box, denotes a person who is blind to how rubbish the person they are dating is.

'Netflix and chill' means to go to someone’s house to have sex while 'Instagrandstanders' are people who use Instagram to share a selfie, self-love captions, post break ups or uploading stories related to an ex-partner’s interests.

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