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Match Group has partnered with the largest anti-sexual violence group in the US to assess how the company handles reports of sexual assault on its online dating platforms, the company announced Monday.
The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) will “conduct a comprehensive review of sexual misconduct reporting, moderation, and response across Match Group’s dating platforms and to work together to improve current safety systems and tools,” according to the press release. Axios first reported the partnership.
RAINN will audit Match Group’s policies and business practices around reporting and preventing instances of sexual violence on the company’s dating apps, from Tinder to Hinge to Plenty of Fish. The partnership will continue into 2021, and potential updates recommended by the organization could roll out “shortly after.”
As Axios notes, the partnership comes shortly after ex-police officer and former Uber safety executive Tracey Breeden joined Match Group as the organization’s first ever head of safety.
“By working together with courageous, thought-leading organizations like RAINN, we will up level safety processes and strengthen our responses for survivors of sexual assault,” Breedan said in the press release.
RAINN CEO Scott Berkowitz said in the release that “sexual violence, unfortunately, is pervasive throughout our society, and dating platforms are not immune. We’re glad to see that Match Group is focused on prioritizing safety, and we look forward to partnering with them to innovate approaches to these challenges and strengthen support for survivors.”
More than 40 million Americans use online dating platforms, according to RAINN, which advises online users to exercise caution when connecting to others on these apps. RAINN recommends you avoid connecting with suspicious profiles without bios, to search for your potential date on social media, and to hold off of sharing personal information. It also advises that you meet your date in a public place and not to rely on them for transportation.
Tinder announced in January that it was adding a panic button for users to press for help in case of emergency, as well as a tool that verified photos online. Dating apps at-large do not conduct background checks on users.
Online dating platforms have seen a surge in subscribers and downloads during the pandemic as people flock to the apps in search of social connection. Some like Tinder added messages recommending safety precautions, like maintaining social distance from potential dates, and suggested virtual dating features. But as Business Insider’s Paige Leskin reported in May, scores of users across multiple platforms like Bumble have still encouraged matches to break the rules enforced during the pandemic and still meet for sex and dates.
Match Group — parent to OkCupid, Tinder, and nearly 40 other dating brands — reported better-than-expected Q3 earnings, and Hinge told MarketWatch in September that it expects its revenue to triple this year.
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