Tinder is partnering with Garbo to offer low-cost background checks, allowing users to better know their matches ahead of time and reduce violence.
Tinder is set to offer users of its app a new feature to keep singles safer: background checks. Its Parent company, Match Group, has announced a partnership with Garbo, a non-profit group aimed at democratizing background checks, along with its intention to introduce the service to Tinder in the coming months. The service will offer users a new level of insight into potential matches before ever meeting them in person.
There is a level of uncertainty related to online dating that many singles have come to accept. Though carefully curated profiles, chats, and phone calls can help mitigate the risks, the reality is that users take it on faith that a person they’re going to meet is who they say they are. Skeletons in the closet, such as criminal records related to violence, can remain in the closet, sometimes until it’s too late.
Through its partnership with Garbo, Match Group says it aims to change that. The company has made a significant contribution to Garbo to bring low-cost background checks first to Tinder and then to its other properties, including Match, OkCupid, and PlentyOfFish. These background checks will be delivered with equity in mind, excluding drug-related offenses and traffic violations that disproportionately affect marginalized groups. Instead, the goal is to identify potentially dangerous matches by producing records of “arrests, convictions, restraining orders, harassment, and other violent crimes.” The exact timeframe for the roll-out of this feature is unknown.
How Background Checks Could Come To Tinder
Since the partnership is still in its infancy, there are no concrete details on how the new background check system may be implemented. Using Garbo’s beta as an indicator, it appears that it may be as simple as searching by first name and last name or even first name and phone number. Given this, Tinder may offer users the ability to purchase single background checks as part of the matching process or even offer recurring plans for those who use the service regularly. Accessibility was a key theme throughout the announcement, so it is likely the service will come at a reduced cost compared to a traditional background check for a job or childcare position.
In its announcement, Match Group acknowledged its role in removing barriers to safety for women and marginalized groups, but Garbo was even more forceful. “Too long,” said founder and CEO, Kathryn Kosmides, “abusers were able to hide behind expensive, hard-to-find public records and reports of their violence; now, that’s much harder.” As a survivor of gender-based violence, Ms. Kosmides knows better than most the importance of access to information. The partnership with Match Group will allow Garbo to reach the women and communities most likely to experience violence and maltreatment.
Match Group’s partnership with Garbo is only the most recent move aimed at empowering and protecting its users. In December, it announced a partnership with RAINN, the leading anti-sexual violence organization in the United States to undertake a review of sexual misconduct reporting, moderation, and response across the company’s portfolio of dating sites. In addition, it operates a special advisory council that advocates for the prevention of sexual misconduct, abuse, and sexual harassment. The values of Garbo would appear to be an excellent fit for the direction in which Match Group appears to be taking its business.
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Source: Match Group
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