The parent group of Tinder is preparing to launch a feature that will allow users of the online dating app to do background checks on potential dates.
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Match Groups announced in a news release that Tinder will partner with Garbo, a background nonprofit group, later this year.
Garbo collects public records and reports of violence and abuse, including arrests, convictions, restraining orders, harassment and other violent crimes, according to its website. Drug arrests and traffic violations are not collected.
“Having newer technology helps singles feel more safe,” Julie Spira, founder of the website Cyber Dating Expert, told ABC News. “Whether it’s the video dating or a background check, (it) makes the dating process flow quickly and safely.”
According to Garbo, last names are not required for background checks in most cases, Garbo notes on its website. Users can access the information with only a first name and a telephone number.
“Before Garbo, abusers were able to hide behind expensive, hard-to-find public records and reports of their violence; now that’s much harder,” Kathryn Kosmides, founder and CEO of Garbo, said in a news release. “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.”
Kosmides founded Garbo in 2018. The Garbo platform will be available on Tinder in the United States later this year, but Match Groups did not give a specific timeline.
“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 news release. “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, 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.”
“Garbo is a tool to address the inequities and barriers to access that people have traditionally had with background checks,” MGAC member Natalie Ludaway said in the release. “Match Group’s partnership with Garbo is a real, meaningful step toward giving people access to information that can help make a real difference in their safety decisions.”
Since the pandemic began, Tinder officials said the desire to date has grown. In January alone, the app hit a peak of 3.4 billion swipes, ABC News reported.
Having an extra filter of security is comforting to Tinder users.
“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,” Tinder user Savannah O’Donnell told ABC News.
“You get to see all the red flags before,” Jack Sullivan, who also uses the app, told the network.
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