Online dating is about to get a lot safer. Match Group and Garbo teamed up to provide background check technology to social network users—starting with Tinder.
Initial tests will roll out to US swipers “in the coming months,” according to a news release. Once Garbo is fully adopted on Tinder, other Match Group brands (Match, OkCupid, PlentyOfFish, etc.) will follow.
“For far too long women and marginalized groups in all corners of the world have faced many barriers to resources and safety,” Tracey Breeden, head of safety and social advocacy for Match Group, said in a statement. “We recognize corporations can play a key role in helping remove those barriers with technology and true collaboration rooted in action.”
“In partnership with Match Group,” Breeden continued, “Garbo’s thoughtful and groundbreaking consumer background check will enable and empower users with information, helping create equitable pathways to safer connections and online communities across tech.”
Founded in 2018 by Kathryn Kosmides, a survivor of gender-based violence, Garbo aims to proactively prevent dangerous situations by providing transparency and information about people before they connect. The platform’s background checks compile public records and reports of violence or abuse—including arrests, convictions, restraining orders, harassment, and other violent crimes.
“Before Garbo, abusers were able to hide behind expensive, hard-to-find public records and reports of their violence; now that’s much harder,” company CEO Kosmides said. “Being able to reach historically underserved populations is fundamental to Garbo’s mission and the partnership with Match will help us connect with these communities.”
The nonprofit, which works with racial equity and gender justice groups, specifically excludes arrests related to drug possession and traffic violations, which have a “disproportionate” impact on marginalized groups.
It’s unclear exactly how this integration will work; there are no details yet on how Tinder users can request a background check. Neither Match Group nor Garbo immediately responded to PCMag’s request for comment.