Tinder’s parent company Match Group announced on Monday that it will be investing in Garbo, a nonprofit organization that focuses on preventing gender based violence.
The partnership will help protect Tinder users by ensuring their matches do not have a criminal record involving violence.
— Tinder (@Tinder) March 15, 2021
Garbo works with vulnerable people who are more susceptible to gender-based violence, such as women, people of color, and the LGBTQ+ community. It is their goal to obtain low-cost or free access to court records barricaded by paywalls and records that are not easy to access for the everyday person. These records detail convictions for violent crimes and civil restraining orders.
According to Garbo Founder Kathryn Kosmides, the company works with experts to determine what records will aid the safety of users. The system will not include records like traffic violations or drug possession. Personal information such as addresses, phone number, and email address will also be left out.
Background checks will not be run on every user, but the new feature gives the platform and users more control. While Tinder offers dating safety tips to its users the Garbo feature takes safety a step further.
“Every person deserves safe and respectful experiences, and we want to do our part to create safer communities on our platforms and beyond,” said Match Group head of safety Tracey Breeden.
The announcement of the Garbo feature has bright joy and reassurance to users who have not felt fully safe on the app.
omg i'm SO happy @Tinder is finally going to start helping users get background checks for criminal records on matches.
i have some incredible stories i could share, and let's just say this is long overdue for the safety of not only women, but every user on this dating app.
— Chantelle Marcelle (@ccmarce_writes) March 15, 2021
However, other users criticized the announcement, one pointing out that many sexual assaults are not reported, so the feature is not full proof. They went on to say that it would be “cynical” if users have to pay for the feature.
Given that the vast majority of sexual assaults are never reported, it seems really cynical to ask people to PAY to investigate their prospective dates esp on a platform that otherwise does notoriously little to protect users. https://t.co/Je0RDTCg2D
— Ziya Jones (@ZiyaJonesA) March 16, 2021
The Garbo feature is still being crafted, but is expected to roll out this year. It is unknown at this time if the feature will be free or offered for a minimal cost.
If the feature is successful, it may make its way across Match Group’s other apps like OKCupid, Hinge, and Plenty of Fish.