MASTERCLASSING

Tinder will soon let users run background checks on their matches

Tyrone Stewart


Match Group, the company behind dating platforms including Match.com, Tinder, Hinge, Plenty of Fish, OKCupid, and many more, has made a ‘significant’ investment in a female-founded, non-profit background check platform Garbo.

Garbo provides low-cost background checks on people by collecting public records and reports of violence or abuse, including arrests, convictions, restraining orders, harassment, and other violent crimes, but excludes arrests related to drug possession and traffic violations due to the disproportionate impact these have on marginalised groups.

The organisation, founded in 2018 by Kathryn Kosmides, a survivor of gender-based violence, sets out to particularly prevent gender-based violence by providing transparency around people’s past infractions.

As a result of Match’s investment, the amount of which remains undisclosed, Match will integrate Garbo’s platform into its dating apps in the US, starting with Tinder later this year.  

“For far too long women and marginalized groups in all corners of the world have faced many barriers to resources and safety,” said Tracey Breeden, Head of Safety and Social Advocacy for Match Group. “We recognize corporations can play a key role in helping remove those barriers with technology and true collaboration rooted in action. In partnership with Match Group, Garbo’s thoughtful and ground-breaking consumer background check will enable and empower users with information, helping create equitable pathways to safer connections and online communities across tech.”

Match will begin testing Garbo on Tinder ‘in the coming months’ before fully adopting the platform later this year. Once Garbo has been fully integrated into Tinder, Match will begin rolling out the organisation’s capabilities to its other US apps.

“Before Garbo, abusers were able to hide behind expensive, hard-to-find public records and reports of their violence; now that’s much harder,” said Kosmides. “Being able to reach historically underserved populations is fundamental to Garbo’s mission and the partnership with Match will help us connect with these communities.”