Garbo, a non-profit and female-founded organization that used to conduct background checks for Tinder and other dating apps owned by Match Group, has decided to stop working with the dating app company. The service is scheduled to cease its operations on August 31st.
This feature proved beneficial to users, enabling them to conduct a limited number of free background checks on potential matches simply by entering their phone number and last name. This proved advantageous to users, offering them access to public records that highlighted past incidents such as violence, prior arrests, convictions, and restraining orders. As a result, users gained valuable information that aided them in making informed decisions before a date or before pursuing a relationship.
Although the specific reasons for the breakdown between the two companies aren’t evident, Garbo seems to attribute the issues to Match Group. According to a blog post by Garbo’s founder, Kathryn Kosmides, she decided to end the service due to encountering insufficient support and genuine effort from online platforms. Additionally, she mentioned dealing with persistent harassment and threats from bad actors on these platforms.
According to media reports, there were internal disagreements about the approach to background checks. Apparently, Match Group aimed to show a badge on Tinder profiles to indicate a clean criminal record, but Kosmides, as per the Journal, disagreed, expressing that it’s not feasible to label someone as all good or all bad. The report also highlights that Tinder didn’t actively promote these background checks to users and didn’t integrate them into the iOS app.
This update comes after Tinder made changes to its Community Guidelines. The app chose to eliminate social media usernames from public profiles, making it clear that Tinder isn’t meant for business promotion or financial gain. The updated guidelines discourage users from advertising or sharing social media handles and links for purposes like gaining followers, making sales, fundraising, or campaigning.
Match Group has stated that they’re actively searching for a new partner to conduct background checks. Although they express their disappointment about not reaching an agreement, a spokesperson from Match Group shared that they’re already in advanced discussions with other potential providers and intend to reveal a fresh partnership in the near future.