By KAROLINA RIVAS and ANGELINE JANE BERNABE, ABC News
(NEW YORK) — Tinder’s parent company, Match Groups, is readying to launch a new feature to make online dating safer by vetting your matches.
Partnering with background check nonprofit Garbo, the feature will help put Tinder users at ease.
“Having newer technology helps singles feel more safe,” said Julie Spira, founder of the website Cyber Dating Expert. “Whether it’s the video dating or a background check, [it] makes the dating process flow quickly and safely.”
Through this feature, Match Groups says a user will be able to see public records of potential dates, including convictions, orders of protection or restraining orders and legal documents that report abuse, harassment or other violent crimes.
Dating sites have long faced criticism for not doing enough to protect customers. According to Pew Research, 3 in 10 users say someone continued to contact them on dating apps after they said they weren’t interested.
“I think that having that sense of peace of mind — it makes it a lot easier to be willing to go on a first date,” said Tinder user Savannah O’Donnell.
“You get to see all the red flags before,” added Jack Sullivan, who also uses the app.
Meanwhile, since the pandemic began, Tinder told ABC News that the desire to date has grown. In January alone, the app hit a peak of 3.4 billion swipes.
To help their users feel even more safe amid the pandemic, the app announced a giveaway for 1,000 mail-in COVID-19 tests. Tinder also recently launched a panic button to better protect users if a date turns dangerous.
The app’s background check feature is slated to launch later this year.
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