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Tinder Wants Safer Dates And Less Catfish

Illustration for article titled Tinder Wants Safer Dates And Less Catfish
Image: Getty

Tinder is taking steps to make dates safer, incorporating panic buttons and letting authorities have access to a user’s location, and they also want to kick catfish to the curb.

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The Wall Street Journal reports that Tinder’s parent company is taking a stake in the app Noonlight which tracks users and lets authorities know where they are if there are safety concerns. During a date users can trigger an alert and Noonlight will then share information, like the time of the date, the location of the user, or details about the person they’re on the date with, to authorities. Noonlight has assured that the location data won’t be used for anything else. While giving an app your location data might potentially be icky for some, it’s a price Noonlight has found many are willing to pay for the safety features. The move comes after complaints about Tinder’s safety, such as failing to screen sex offenders.

Another feature Tinder tells the WSJ they’re planning to roll out is a way to test if people really are who they say they are. Tinder is testing a verification system which will ask users to take pictures in specific poses, like holding a thumbs up. Users who pass will then get a blue verification badge. Sounds like someone just watched The Circle!

Pop Culture Reporter, Jezebel

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DISCUSSION

I read a variation on this topic a few months back and my take away is that I’m not sure that this is such a great idea. I fortunately navigated the weirdness of app dating without excessive chaos, but I never forgot that this process was fundamentally high-risk and it’s best to be consistently smart. My concern would be that adding in some kind “verification” would give people a false sense of security. And for what it’s worth, people always find ways to circumvent those things, so it probably would not be worth the paper it’s written on.

I also don’t think it’s going to do much to get rid of the majority of bad actors. Predators that have not been caught or caught but used civil means and NDA to keep the case out of the public eye will never show up on any type of screening. Keep in mind there is a paid element for a lot of these app’s as well. I would never trust a company to protect me, when it is almost certain there is money to be made by tweaking the terms of what they allow, for a reasonable fee.

Date in public, google your date, get to know their friends and family, be reasonably generous in the confines of early dating (pay for a movie or a dinner) but don’t hand over sums of cash... the things that build trust are time and consistency.  Most scammers are not willing to take the time to do the long slog to build real trust and will give up pretty quickly when they realize you have boundaries that will not be moved.