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Critics argue the new integration could mimic notoriously faulty background checks without necessarily making dating apps safer. When Jerrel Gantt was released from prison after three years, he was handed a pamphlet about healthcare and nothing else. He began searching for employment, a deep source of anxiety for him, and secured housing through a ministry in New York City. He later enrolled in school part-time. As he settled into life outside of prison and developed a support system, Gantt began going on dates with people he met on apps like Tinder.
The process has not been without challenges — revealing that he is formerly incarcerated usually comes up early in the dating process for Gantt. Though information about his criminal history is public record, he likes to be in control of that conversation so he can be as upfront and clear about the details as possible. Now, a new initiative aims to get that information into the hands of dating app users before a date even takes place, partly to address safety issues that arise on dating apps. The company Match Group, which includes a portfolio of apps like Tinder, Background checks and online dating and Hinge, recently announced a partnership with a non-profit background check company called Garbo to integrate background checks into its online properties.
But critics argue the new integration could mimic notoriously faulty background checks and effectively discriminate against the nearly one-third of the adult working population in the US with criminal records, without necessarily making dating apps safer. If a user chooses to run a background check on a match, the user would pay a yet-to-be-determined fee.
Founder Kathryn Kosmides and the Garbo team are still working out crucial details of the product itself, including what specific crimes will be flagged for app users. The idea is to focus specifically on protecting users from violent crimes, stalking and harassment. Kosmides said that drug possession and traffic violations will not be included, but DUIs and vehicular manslaughter will be. Match Group has a long history of safety issues on its platforms. A ProPublica investigation found a muddy internal reporting process at the company, as several women who reported being raped or sexually assaulted on dating apps were given little or no response.
In fact, they saw their abusers on different dating apps years, or sometimes, months later.
The investigation cites a report from the UK National Crime Agency that found an increase in online-dating assault over a five-year period from 33 to cases — still, a relatively small given the 7. One in four women in the US have experienced intimate partner violence IPV which includes stalking, sexual violence and physical violence Background checks and online dating an intimate partner. Documents will need a case to be accepted.
Sarah Lageson, a sociologist and assistant professor at Rutgers University-Newark School of Criminal Justice, said the onus should be on Match Group to vet users and make sure their platforms are safe. In recent years, many employers have moved away from issuing background checks to avoid the stigma already faced by this population since policing, convictions and sentencing disproportionately affect Black people and other minorities.
Wanda Bertram, a spokesperson for the Prison Policy Initiative, a research organization, argued that because the US does not apply laws equally, criminal background checks on dating apps would systematically filter out groups of people that are already marginalized. Another reason to be wary of background checks: outdated or erroneous information is often included in public records and court documents. Another cause for concern is how widely criminal procedures and laws vary by state and in some cases, by city.
Amid this uneven system of safety protocols, research shows that interpersonal relationships are key to successful re-entry for a formerly incarcerated person. Some see this move by Match Group as one more area of life where those who have had involvement with the legal system, like Jerrel Gantt, face barriers to success.
For decriminalization advocates such as Bertram, not further marginalizing people involved with the legal system. Bertram also pointed out that the risk of dating online is also present when meeting people in bars or other social settings. This article is more than 3 months old. A safety move or a privacy invasion?
Tinder will open its website up so that people can check the criminal records of its users. Hope Corrigan. Tue 13 Apr Topics Tinder US crime news. Reuse this content.Background checks and online dating
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Tinder to introduce in-app background checks