When Tinder first ushered in the great dating app boom of the 2010s, it was pitched to the skeptical masses with the tagline, “Tinder is how people meet. It’s like real life, but better.”
Also like real life, dating apps can be dangerous. While online dating has fortunately moved past the era of shady Craigslist hookups and sketchy chatrooms, even the polished and mainstream dating app industry we know today has proven vulnerable to bad actors, sexual harassment, abuse and other safety concerns.
Enter Tracey Breeden, the first-ever Head of Safety and Social Advocacy at Match Group, one of the biggest names in the dating app industry and parent company to platforms like Hinge, Tinder and OkCupid. Breeden joins Match Group from her former role as the Head of Women’s Safety and Gender-Based Violence Operations at Uber — another major tech company that’s copped to a need for increased safety measures in the past.
“I’ve spent my entire career fighting to create safe spaces for all people so I’m excited to bring my passion for promoting safety and advocacy to Match Group and its brands,” said Breeden in a press release announcing her new role on Monday. “Corporations play an important role in sparking positive, social change but also have a responsibility to help ensure safe experiences for their users. I look forward to developing pathways to more equitable and inclusive solutions when it comes to safety across Match Group’s many communities.”
Working directly with the Match Group Advisory Council — a group of experts and advocates dedicated to the study and prevention of sexual assault, sex trafficking, abuse, harassment and other issues — Breeden will work across Match Group’s products to combat bad behavior on the company’s various online dating platforms.
“The safety of our users is, and has always been existential to our category. We are responsible for millions of meaningful relationships around the world, and it’s imperative that our users have positive experiences and meet quality people,” said Match Group CEO Shar Dubey. “But, our platforms also reflect society, and we must all be committed to doing everything we can to eliminate bad behavior, wherever we can.”
Breeden’s new role, the first of its kind for Match Group, follows a number of other recent features and updates designed to increase safety across the company’s platforms. Recent safety features include a system to flag potentially offensive messages and give their recipients the option to report senders, as well as a partnership with safety app Noonlight that will sync with Tinder and allow daters to summon assistance in the event of a date-night emergency.
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