Match Group, owner of Tinder and a number of other relationship apps, announced a new security-focused partnership with Garbo. The initiative includes a violent background check in the hope of making dates more secure.
Garbo is a nonprofit institution made up of women that provides information on violence and abuse and is expected to assist Tinder members in decision-making. With the partnership, the Match Group will make Garbo’s platform accessible to Tinder users in the United States, integrating it into their application still in 2021.
Without revealing a specific date, Match Group says it will begin testing and developing resources with Garbo in the coming months. Also according to the group, as soon as the Garbo information is implemented in Tinder, other brands of the United States Match Group (OkCupid, PlentyofFish and others) will follow the initiative.
Asked about the appeal in Brazil, the Match Group has not yet commented.
How is the background check done?
These are background checks made by collecting public records and reports of violence or abuse, including arrests, convictions, restraining orders, harassment and other violent crimes recorded by police and courts of law.
This information is not so simple to access. As a nonprofit organization, Garbo aims to democratize access to this data, allowing people to make decisions about meeting someone safely or not.
Match Group’s head of safety and social advocacy, Tracey Breeden, says in a statement that she recognizes that technology companies like Tinder can play a key role and that the partnership, which includes a careful background check, will allow and empower users, helping to create more secure connections.
Careful background check
Garbo claims that it works closely with racial and gender equality groups, and is aware that there is inequality in the experiences of black people in the legal and penal system. For this reason, it excludes arrests related to drug possession and traffic violations, which have a disproportionate impact on marginalized groups.
Like everything that is good about Tinder, there is a price to pay. The announced partnership involves an investment, the value of which has not been disclosed by Match, which will help make the technology available to Match users, starting with its most popular application.
It is true that the adoption of a background check on violence can drastically affect who is successful in the application and who is not. According to The Verge, background checks on Tinder will not be free, but they should be accessible. It is not clear whether it will be an additional feature or linked to Gold / Plus / Platinum.
Garbo’s tool is not yet in the air, and it has not been possible to test its accuracy.
It will work like this: Match Group does not share its users’ data with Garbo, but users can do a background check on Garbo, as long as they have the contact’s last name or phone number, provided by them.
How was Garbo born?
Garbo was founded in 2018 by Kathryn Kosmides, a survivor of the violence. Kathryn’s story is in a text written by herself, at Fortune. Here is an excerpt:
“I had already left the abusive relationship I was in when I filed a complaint [à polícia] against my attacker. He had launched a campaign of harassment and harassment, and I was afraid. But, I also reported the abuse, because in doing so, I thought I was protecting your next potential victim.
What I didn’t know was that protecting other women [vítimas em potencial] it would be more difficult than I imagined. In fact, someone reported him earlier, in California. His previous record of violent behavior was lost in a legal system that is more concerned with the rights of the criminal than with the safety of the victim, ”he says.
If I knew … The sooner you know that someone has a pattern of violent behavior, the greater the chance of avoiding becoming the next victim, ”he said.
From dating to hitchhiking apps
From encounters with people we only know online to trips combined by hitchhiking apps, connecting with strangers is increasingly part of the routine in apps. However, there is no way to know if someone has a history of violence until it is too late.
The main way for a person to know if someone they plan to date or share a car on, for example, has a history of violence is through public records. The list of applications for background check is long.
More security initiatives on Tinder
In December 2020, the Match Group announced a partnership with RAINN, the largest American organization against sexual violence, to help reinforce the reporting of cases of sexual misconduct, moderation and intervention processes for Match Group relationship apps, starting with Tinder himself.
With information: Match Group and Garbo