The popular dating apps Tinder, Plenty of Fish and OkCupid do not check whether a user is guilty of a sexual offense, according to research by ProPublica , BuzzFeed and Columbia Journalism Investigations . According to a spokesperson for Match Group, the umbrella organization that covers the platforms, there are "offenders" perpetrators of sexual abuse active on the dating apps.
The researchers examined 150 reports of sexual abuse that are linked to dating apps. In 10 percent of the reports the victim was matched by the app with someone who was previously the perpetrator of a sexual crime.
This 10 percent only relates to the free apps from Match Group: Tinder, Plenty of Fish and OkCupid. This was not the case with the only app that does screen users, Match.
With the English dating app Match, users are screened and held against the list of registered perpetrators of sexual offenses. Match Group does not do this with Tinder, OkCupid and other free dating apps.
A spokesperson for Match Group told the researchers that the company cannot draw up a screening protocol that it can use for all apps, because it does not collect the same amount of user information for all apps. As a result, Match Group does not always have enough data to perform a screening.
Match Group also said about the investigation that the 150 declarations "should be placed in perspective" because millions of people use the apps.