Are background checks for dating apps about to become common? According to a press release, Tinder will implement a background check feature on its app in 2021.
The release notes that Tinder’s parent company, Match Group, plans to expand the feature to its other dating services “at a later date.” In addition to Tinder, Match Group owns platforms such as OkCupid, Hinge, and PlentyOfFish.
Until now, online dating services and mobile dating apps have largely been open to anyone. According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), “more than 40 million Americans use online dating services or dating apps,” with few of those apps conducting criminal background checks or other vetting on their users. In the past, users have had to run their own background checks and perform due diligence on the individuals they connect with through these services and apps.
Personal background checks for Tinder users are possible thanks to a partnership between Match Group and Garbo, a background check company founded by a woman who is “a survivor of gender-based violence” who aims to protect women and marginalized groups.
The specific details about how background screening for dating will work on Tinder are not yet clear. The press release says that Match Group will be “testing and building out capabilities” within its app “in the coming months,” with an official launch date of the feature planned for later this year. The feature will likely make it easier for Tinder users to know whether the individual they match with has convictions, arrests, restraining orders, or other red flags for violence, abuse, or harassment.
In 2019, Match Group faced criticism for not doing enough to keep its dating platforms safe. A ProPublica investigation identified sex offenders who were using Tinder and other free Match Group platforms. Since then, the company has taken steps to make its dating services safer.
In January 2020, Match Group implemented a “panic button” feature, making it possible for a user to activate a distress call within the app. If a user presses the panic button, it automatically alerts nearby emergency services with date and location data. Match group also partnered with RAINN in December 2020 to launch a “comprehensive review of sexual misconduct reporting, moderation, and response” across the company’s dating platforms.
The decision to add personal background checks to Tinder may influence the future of background checks for dating apps. Statistics indicate that Tinder is by far the most popular dating app in the United States, with PlentyOfFish, OkCupid, and Hinge ranking in the top 10. Experts say that Match Group’s adoption of background checks could push other dating app developers to add similar features to their programs.
At backgroundchecks.com we also offer a way to run background checks on personal contacts, including romantic contacts or dates.
About Michael Klazema The author
Michael Klazema is the lead author and editor for Dallas-based backgroundchecks.com with a focus on human resource and employment screening developments