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Tinder is getting a critical safety feature it should have had all along

The makers of the Match group of dating apps has announced it is integrating the ability to conduct background checks on potential dates, within the Tinder app.

The company says it has ‘made a significant contribution’ to Garbo – a female-founded platform that enables people to make more informed decisions about their online matches. The platform, which uses public records to surface information, will be available to Tinder users in the United States in the coming months.

Garbo was founded in 2018 and can shed light upon individuals who’ve been reported, arrested, or convicted for gender-based violence. Tinder will be the first app to integrate the platform in the coming months, but given the company owns Match, OK Cupid and Hinge – among other apps – we can expect this to roll out to other apps in the portfolio relatively quickly.

In a press release Match explains: “Garbo provides low-cost background checks by collecting public records and reports of violence or abuse, including arrests, convictions, restraining orders, harassment, and other violent crimes.”

Garbo works with other racial equity and gender justice groups to offer a broader view, with the knowledge that some communities of colour have been discriminated against by the legal system. As such, it focuses on violent offences, rather than those for drug possession, for instance.

“Before Garbo, abusers were able to hide behind expensive, hard-to-find public records and reports of their violence; now that’s much harder,” said Kathryn Kosmides, Founder and CEO of Garbo. “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.”

It’s fair to say, this kind of technology is long overdue in dating apps like Tinder, but it’s a welcome addition nonetheless. Hopefully UK users will be able to access similar background checks in the not-too-distant future.

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