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New Tinder background checks are more than a safety feature

Meghan McCarty Carino Mar 11, 2022
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A woman walks past a Tinder advertisement. Sean Gallup/Getty Images

New Tinder background checks are more than a safety feature

Meghan McCarty Carino Mar 11, 2022
Heard on:
A woman walks past a Tinder advertisement. Sean Gallup/Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
COPY

The popular dating app Tinder has added a background check feature that gives users the opportunity to search the criminal records of potential dates. The tool screens for violent offenses, leaving out things like drug charges or traffic violations. It’s free to use the first two times and $2.50 for each additional search. It’s the latest move to tackle safety issues in an industry where trust is all-important.

Dating apps can be used for all kinds of unsavory and criminal behavior, said Naomi Leeds an associate at victims’ rights law firm C.A. Goldberg.

“It’s cyberstalking, it’s threats to disseminate intimate images, it’s coercion,” she said.

A Pew survey in 2020 found a majority of women don’t consider these apps safe. 

Tracey Breeden was hired as head of safety and social advocacy by Tinder’s parent company, Match Group, to help change that.

“My vision is really focused on preventing, not just physical harm, but psychological, emotional abuse, harassment,” Breeden said.

In addition to background checks, Tinder has added features to verify identity and prompt users to reconsider sending messages that could be seen as harassment.

It’s the right thing to do and good for business, said Sarah Kunst, managing director of Cleo Capital and a former adviser to dating app Bumble.

“For most dating apps, you need supply and demand, right,” she said. If too many women desert these apps, she said, they become less attractive for everyone else.

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