For close to a year now, Tinder has been testing a feature to let you run background checks on matches, partnering with non-profit platform Garbo to integrate the service for its users. Today, all Tinder members can now access it via the app’s Safety Center, which is being touted as a first-of-its-kind partnership within the realm of dating apps.
Tinder is offering two free background check searches for each user for the launch, and up to 500,000 free searches in total. Each search via Garbo costs $2.50 (which doesn’t include a small processing fee), and all funds will go towards bolstering Garbo’s operations and the fees connected to record searches.
Garbo is also going to be available to the general public in the U.S., starting today.
The organization aims to prevent harm in the digital age, allowing users to access public information about violent or harmful behavior such as arrests, convictions, and sex offender registry records. Garbo hopes to democratize such information for the sake of public safety, mitigating barriers such as cost and jurisdictional regulations. It works alongside experts and advocates, spanning from the National Center for Victims of Crime, and EndTAB (Ending Technology-Enabled Abuse).
“We want to protect those most vulnerable to experiencing harm both online and offline and this is just the first step in delivering on our mission to help proactively prevent harm in the digital age,” Kathryn Kosmides, founder of Garbo, said in a statement.
Match Group, Tinder’s parent company, has also partnered with the National Domestic Violence Hotline to allow survivors 24/7 access to its resources and information, which includes a direct, live chat on Garbo with an advocate from the hotline.
Tinder users can turn to Garbo by tapping on the blue shield icon anywhere on the app, which will lead to the Safety Center. A link to a Garbo article will then lead to directions, including a page where you can fill out basic information about a match. All that’s required is a first name and a phone number.
“For far too long women and traditionally marginalized groups have faced many barriers to resources and safety,” said Tracey Breeden, head of safety and social advocacy at Match Group. “Garbo’s thoughtful and innovative consumer background checks will drive the industry forward while empowering people with critical information to help inform personal safety choices.”
This update is the latest in Tinder’s journey to integrate more features geared towards safety and support. In mid-2021, ID verification was made available on Tinder globally, with the purpose of improving safety. In January of this year, the app worked with U.S. anti-sexual assault organisation RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) to redesign the way reports of sexual violence and harassment are handled.