(KTLA) – Tinder, the online dating site, is introducing a new tool that allows would-be Romeos and Juliets to do a background check on prospective matches.
The heightened security feature is the result of a partnership between Tinder’s parent, Match Group, and a nonprofit called Garbo that provides background checks. Match invested in Garbo last year.
“For far too long, women and traditionally marginalized groups have faced many barriers to resources and safety,” says Tracey Breeden, Match Group’s head of safety and social advocacy.
“Garbo’s thoughtful and innovative consumer background checks will drive the industry forward while empowering people with critical information to help inform personal safety choices.”
It’s easy to shake your head and wonder how we’ve reached a point where dating services need to help clients weed out criminals, but such precautions seem a helpful advance in an era of digital hookups. Obviously, if someone has a history of dreadful behavior — and we’re talking primarily about guys being abusive to women — you’d want to know up front.
“We know that the biggest indicator of future abuse or violence is a history of these types of behaviors,” says Kathryn Kosmides, founder of Garbo.
“Whether it’s online dating or the dozens of other ways we meet strangers in today’s digital age, we should know if we’re potentially putting our safety at risk.”
The new tool is being rolled out this week. Each search on Garbo will cost $2.50 plus a processing fee. Tinder will offer two free searches per user, until a total 500,000 searches have been performed.
Garbo is also making it easier for people to do background checks (for a fee) on its own website.
Tinder users are being encouraged by the site to report any matches that reflect a history of violence.