In March, Match Group introduced the nonprofit platform Garbo’s background check service to Tinder. Now, the company is expanding this option to the two other dating apps it owns: Match or Match.com and the newly launched Stir dating app for single parents.
Just like in Tinder, Garbo will offer two free background checks for you to use on anyone you are talking with on the said dating apps. If you are paying for the premium tier of the apps, on the other hand, you’ll get two more one-time free checks for individuals of your choice. After that, the following background checks you will initiate will cost $2.50 each and a 75-cent processing fee per transaction.
Match Group also made some improvements in the feature. Formerly in Tinder, Garbo’s service could only be accessed through the blue shield logo in the app, which will direct you to Tinder Safety Centre, then to Garbo’s service. However, in the rollout of the feature in the two additional apps, a prompt will appear when the system senses the two users are planning to meet in person. Nonetheless, if you want to run a background check before the app system suggests it, you can access Garbo in the apps’ safety centers
On the other hand, Garbo’s service in Match and Stir will remain the same. It’ll ask you for some input (including phone number, first and last names, birthday, location, and more). Once a successful search is found, the service will present essential information to the person running the background check, such as a history of violence, records of arrests and convictions, and sex offender registry records.
However, it is important to note that the results being offered by Garbo will be limited as the nonprofit tries to promote an “equitable” nature in its background checks. This means you won’t be receiving info that disproportionally impacts marginalized communities (public records regarding non-violent drug possession, loitering, vagrancy, minor traffic tickets, and vehicular manslaughter) and other critical data like exact addresses. According to Match Group, discovering users with criminal history via the background check will also help them remove these harmful entities.
“We don’t want people who have a harmful criminal history of violence against people on our platform,” said Tracey Breeden, Match Group Head of Safety and Social Advocacy, during the launch of the Garbo service on Tinder. “When we do find out about those people, they are banned and removed from not only the Tinder platform, but we can ban and remove them across all of our platforms.
After a 2019 investigative report about the issue of sexual predators using Match Group’s dating apps was released, this can be considered a crucial move from Match Group. It’ll also help promote better consumer protection, which is now being given more attention by the government. Nonetheless, background checks alone aren’t enough to secure one’s safety when meeting a stranger in person. This is why it is still best to spend more time connecting with others online before meetups and (most of all) trust your gut in spotting some red flags.