With millions of active users, Tinder is by far one of the most popular platforms for online dating. Operating on a “match” system, Tinder users set up profiles, define preferences, and then “swipe” through other profiles that Tinder’s software determines might be a compatible match. First launched in 2012, this service has grown into a fixture of popular culture over the last decade — and the concerns around the service have grown in the intervening years, too.
From high-profile stories in the news about Tinder users who have defrauded matches out of cash and property to tragic stories of sexual assault, abuse, and even murder, it’s clear that there are risks inherent in using semi-anonymous dating services such as Tinder. In an effort to combat discussions that the company did little to nothing to support its users in the event of danger, Tinder recently partnered with RAINN, the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network. RAINN is a well-respected organization with a mission to improve resources for survivors of sexual abuse.
In early 2022, Tinder announced that its partnership with RAINN had produced an array of new training procedures to ensure customer support staff can recognize signs of abuse and provide appropriate resources. The company also announced design changes in the app meant to make it easier for users to locate options for filing abuse reports.
Most interesting, however, was Tinder’s affirmation that it was continuing to invest in and develop an integration for an in-app background checking service. Match Group, the parent organization for Tinder, first announced in early 2021 that it had invested in a service to make background checks on Tinder a reality. In its announcement with RAINN, the company said that the feature would roll out to users “soon” after missing its initial launch window of late 2021.
Details on the roll-out of the service remain scarce except that users will need to pay an as-yet-undetermined fee for each background check they order. Typically, users do not need to supply a last name to sign up on Tinder. The amount of personal information provided would not be enough to conduct a reliable background check. Since the checks will require a surname, it remains to be seen if Tinder will change its sign-up policies or place the burden of gathering the necessary information on users themselves.
Dating app background checks could be a critical element of making online matchmaking a safer and more enjoyable space to use in the future, but its success in practice is still an open question. For now, nothing prevents a user from ordering an independent background check on a potential match themselves — although you’ll still need to ask their full name. While “can I run a background check?” might not be the most romantic opener in the world, it could be an essential part of the future of safe online dating.
About Michael Klazema The author
Michael Klazema is Chief Marketing Technologist at EY-VODW.com and has over two decades of experience in digital consulting, online product management, and technology innovation. He is the lead author and editor for Dallas-based backgroundchecks.com with a focus on human resource and employment screening developments.