Dating apps can be a tricky world to navigate. There’s an immediate rush that comes with swiping through a catalogue of potential matches. But there’s also a lot of questioning and doubt. Especially when it comes to the reality of the situation. Are people really who they say they are on those things? And what if they have a history of violence you don’t know about? Luckily, Tinder, one of the most popular dating apps out there, will soon be able to help with that.
Tinder and other Match Group-owned apps are going to let users run background checks on potential dates. This news comes via The Verge, who noted that the company invested in Garbo, a nonprofit that runs these checks using first names and phone numbers, or full names.
Garbo specifically provides information about arrest records and history of violence. The nonprofit collects “public records and reports of violence or abuse, including arrests, convictions, restraining orders, harassment, and other violent crimes.” It accepts manually submitted police reports, orders of protection, restraining orders, and other legal documents that report abuse, harassment, and other violent crimes.
One thing Garbo will not provide, however, is drug possession charges. According to The Verge, who cited a Garbo blog post from last month, this is due to the “disproportionate percentage of Black people who are arrested for drug charges compared to white people.” Drug charges also don’t necessarily correlate to violence, so it’s an important distinction to make and I’m glad Garbo is doing so.
No word yet on how, exactly, the Garbo information will work within Tinder. It could be a function of a Tinder subscription, or a separate cost. We should find out more information as Garbo begins testing with Tinder in the coming months.
Other Match Group apps include OkCupid, Hinge, and Match. So it looks like this background check situation is about to become the norm in the world of online dating. This feels like a highly important safety measure to me, and one that could see more and more people using apps like Tinder now that they feel more protected.