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Tinder to offer pre-date background checks to its users

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The icon for the Tinder dating app on a device in New York.
The icon for the Tinder dating app on a device in New York.   -   Copyright  Patrick Sison/Patrick Sison
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Tinder and other dating apps are going to allow users to carry out background checks on people they match with, stepping up the safety of its users.

The new feature is enabled by the female-founded, first-of-its-kind, non-profit background check platform Garbo.

Garbo allows users to run affordable background checks with only their full name and phone number. Users are likely to exchange this information if they plan to meet.

The feature will be rolled out across the US later this year and will allow users to check arrest records and history of violence.

Garbo was founded by Kathryn Kosmides, who is a survivor of gender-based violence. Kathryn wanted to make critical information about someone’s background easily accessible.

Match Group will begin testing its capabilities for Garbo on Tinder in the coming months. Once Garbo is adopted on Tinder later this year, other Match Group U.S. brands will follow.

Garbo expressed their concern of systemic inequality of the justice system in the US, and said in a statement they are choosing to distance themselves from a practice that "promotes racism, hate, and oppression."

Background checks will exclude drug possession charges and traffic tickets - unless they feature driving under the influence of alcohol or vehicle manslaughter.

"The research continues to show that there is no link between drug possession and gender-based violence," Garbo said.

"Garbo will continue to evaluate how best to use public records and reports to proactively prevent gender-based violence in the digital age," they added.