The ultimate end game of dating apps like Tinder is to delete them off your phone once you’ve managed to find someone cool. Well perhaps you should consider getting rid of a bunch of your dating apps regardless of whether you’ve found anyone because apparently there are registered sex offenders lurking around on them.
According to an investigation by ProPublica and Columbia Journalism Investigations, a bunch of dating apps owned by Match Group – a list that includes Tinder, OkCupid and Plenty of Fish – don’t have a clear screening process or policy for preventing registered sex offenders from signing up.
As a result of this, people end up swiping right on folks who were previously accused or convicted of sexual assault. The report analysed 157 cases of sexual assault and found that 10% of them involved users matching with a registered sex offender.
Not screening for sex offenders seems like a major oversight for a dating app company, especially one that owns big ones like Tinder and OkCupid, but a Match Group representative states that screening for criminals does actually happen on its apps… for the paid versions that is.
For the free versions, well, to quote the representative, “there are definitely registered sex offenders on our free products.”
Another Match Group spokesperson has since spoke to Business Insider and called the reporting by ProPublica and Columbia Journalism Investigations “disingenuous” and “inaccurate,” though they did not contest any specific facts reported in the story.
As extra clarification, the spokesperson said Match Group doesn’t collect enough info on free dating apps to “conduct meaningful background checks.” Yeah, that doesn’t sound as good as you think it does, champ.
Perhaps realising how that last quote sounded, the Match Group spokesperson then stated to Business Insider that:
“As technology evolves, we will continue to aggressively deploy new tools to eradicate bad actors, including users of our free products like Tinder, Plenty of Fish and OkCupid where we are not able to obtain sufficient and reliable information to make meaningful background checks possible.”
Now this reporting revolved around cases in America rather than Australia, but it doesn’t exactly instill confidence in the Down Under dating scene, which is already pretty damn tough as it is.
If you’re looking for a good excuse to delete Tinder, Bumble or all those dating apps off your phone, registered sex offenders lurking around on them is probably a good enough reason.
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