Match Group, the parent company of various online dating applications, announced this Monday that, in partnership with nonprofit Garbo, they will roll out a feature that helps their users run background checks on their matches.
Garbo is a consumer online background check platform. Its founder, Kathryn Kosmides, is a survivor of gender-based violence. Her company’s mission is to help ensure that vulnerable populations including women, people of color, and LGBTQ individuals are protected from this kind of violence.
Garbo works with experts to decide what kinds of records to provide. It excludes criminal records that don’t have a correlation with violence, like traffic violations and drug possession linked to racial bias in policing. It also won’t provide personal information like what your phone number is or where you live.
Because Tinder is one of the company’s most popular apps, Match Group plans to roll out the pilot version of the feature on that particular platform. If it is successful, users will probably see it appear on other apps such as OkCupid, Hinge, and Plenty of Fish. For now, the specifics of how the feature will be integrated into the app are yet to be determined, but Match Group’s head of safety says that users can expect to see it on Tinder at some point in 2021.
Tinder already reminds users to make safety a priority by giving them safety tips like always meeting in public, keeping your phone charged and on you, and letting friends and family know what your plans are.
As pandemic restrictions ease, dating app users will likely be excited to meet the people they have made online connections with during this past year. Although neither this new feature nor the provided safety tips will guarantee anyone’s safety, both Match Group and Garbo hope to increase the chances of their users getting the safe and respectful experiences they deserve.