Tinder will add background-checking feature to screen dates for violent crimes, offenses

Match Group, Garbo partnership is bringing background checks to online dating

Tinder’s parent company, the Match Group, is going to implement background check technology on the popular dating app before it rolls it out to the rest of its relationship platforms.

To make this screening feature available to users, the Match Group announced it will partner with Garbo, a female-founded background check platform that is designed to “proactively prevent gender-based violence in the digital age.”

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Garbo’s background-checking feature is going to be integrated on Tinder first later this year. According to the Match Group, these background checks collect public records and documented cases of violence or abuse, including arrests, convictions, restraining orders, harassment and other violent crimes.

“For far too long women and marginalized groups in all corners of the world have faced many barriers to resources and safety,” said Tracey Breeden, the Match Group’s head of safety and social advocacy, in a statement.

“We recognize corporations can play a key role in helping remove those barriers with technology and true collaboration rooted in action,” she added. “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.”

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While Garbo’s background check feature reports some documented crimes, the Match Group’s press release reiterated the third-party platform is focused on exposing past violent behaviors.

Non-violent arrests related to drug possession and traffic violations will be excluded from background checks. This policy is being implemented due to Garbo’s close work with racial equity and gender justice groups, which have pointed out inequities in the criminal justice system for marginalized people.

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

Similarly, the Match Group Advisory Council’s member Natalie Ludaway said the company’s partnership with Garbo is “a real, meaningful step towards giving people access to information that can help make a real difference in their safety decisions.”

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Garbo’s background-checking technology will be added to the rest of the Match Group’s digital properties, including dating platforms such as Match.com, Hinge, Ok Cupid, Our Time, Plenty of Fish, Meetic and Pairs.

It is not clear if the background check feature will have a cost for Tinder users and other Match Group subscribers. As a separate entity, Garbo offers “low-cost background check.” Further details will be provided in the next several months.

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The Match Group reportedly had 10.9 million users who paid a subscription in the fourth quarter of 2020, according to Statista.