Tinder and other Match Group-owned apps will soon allow their users to run background checks on possible dates. This, when it happens will potentially make dates safer for both parties, especially women.
Running background checks became a possibility after Match Group announced an investment in Garbo, a nonprofit that looks to allow people to run background checks with only their first name and phone number or full name.
Match didn’t disclose the size or particular details about the investment but will help make Garbo’s tech available to Match’s users. This will begin with Match’s most popular app: Tinder.
Using their first name and phone number, Tinder users will be able to vet their dates. They will be able to find details like their arrest record or history of violence.
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Garbo says it collects “public records and reports of violence or abuse, including arrests, convictions, restraining orders, harassment, and other violent crimes”. On its website, it says it accepts manually submitted “police report(s), order(s) of protection/restraining orders, and other legal documents that report abuse, harassment, or other crimes”.
However, running background checks on Tinder won’t be free. Match is working with Garbo to figure out reasonable pricing so it’s accessible to most of its users. Both companies will begin testing and building out capabilities for Garbo on Tinder in the coming months. After Garbo’s integration into Tinder, Match Group’s other US brands, like OkCupid, Hinge, and Match, could be next.
Garbo says it won’t be publicising drug possession charges in order to take an “active stance toward equity”. In a blog post, the company cites research about the disproportionate percentage of Black people who are arrested for drug charges compared to white people to support its stance. It also says drug-related offenses don’t meaningfully predict “gender-based violence” which is its primary concern. Garbo also says it won’t be disclosing traffic violations.
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