Back in March, Tinder announced a new partnership with Garbo which is a unique, not-for-profit background checking platform.
Garbo provides users with information about violence and abuse using little more than a first name and a telephone number.
The idea is that Tinder users will be able to connect with Garbo through the dating app to perform a background check on potential dates.
The fact that Garbo is offering this service at a lower cost than for-profit organisations do, is a positive step in the right direction, but it’s still not quite good enough.
Tinder and apps like it need to shoulder more responsibility when it comes to the safety of its users.
The indications are that users will be charged to access the information provided by Garbo which is gathered from public records and includes reports of violence, abuse, restraining orders and other similar crimes.
Garbo, which works directly with groups dedicated to racial equity and gender justice, are definitely providing a valuable service but it remains to be seen whether Match Group will make the service a “for all” feature or if they keep it behind a paywall.
Dating apps like Tinder need to take more responsibility for the safety of users and especially in the wake of violent crimes perpetrated through the app.
Previously, some critics have accused Tinder of actually making it easier for offenders to victimize women; for example, Tinder’s un-match function allowed offenders to potentially block their victims immediately following abuse or assault.
This feature was removed following investigation and Tinder has made much of its plans for improved safety features on the app.
The Pandemic has meant that many people have spent long periods of time alone and isolated, so as the country begins to open up, more will turn to dating apps to find connection and company.
We need to see real change before the figures on dating app attacks shoot up along with the figures for users of online dating.
It’s perhaps relevant when considering the app’s history with women’s safety to remember that Tinder’s one-time CEO Sean Rad was embroiled in agender discrimination lawsuit by one-time executive Whitney Wolfe Herd.
Even after the lawsuit was settled and Rad had been demoted, fellow executivespiled on to kick him whilst he was down, with Chris Gulczynski who is widely credited with the apps’ design maintaining that Rad had encouraged a “frat-like” work environment and that his “haphazard” management style meant that staff were often confused about what to prioritize during their working day.
“We have a spreadsheet of features that never got implemented or half-implemented,” Gulczynski said.
It’s obviously good news that Rad is no longer actively working with Tinder – not if we’re expecting these promised safety features to be rolled out any time soon!