A sacred part of the modern mating ritual is the Google search. Unless you are Meghan, who swears she didn’t look up Prince Harry before their first date, it’s par for the course to find out all you can about a potential love interest before meeting them in person. Now Tinder, and other Match Group-owned apps, are making things easier for armchair detectives: they have partnered with a non-profit called Garbo so users in the US can run background checks on their matches. All you need is a full name or a first name and phone number and up comes his or her chequered past.
Should we be finding ways to make online dating safer? Absolutely. Is this the right way to do it? I am unconvinced. Not least because it seems you will have to pay for this feature, which will add a whole new dimension to victim-blaming. They went on a date without paying for a background check? What did they expect? Dating apps should be the ones responsible for ensuring known sex abusers don’t use their services; this shifts the burden of responsibility on to the user.
The last half century or so has been one long shout that strong and independent women can – and should – shag as they wish. Make their own decisions unencumbered by patriarchal norms. And quite right too.
Now the demand is edging toward the idea that it’s the capitalists who will be to blame if they end up shagging a wrong ‘un?
Yes, most strong and independent…..