Tinder is giving users in the US a way to conduct a background check on a potential match. Through the safety center (you can tap the blue shield icon anywhere in the app to get there), you can visit the website of Garbo, a non-profit background check platform.
Garbo typically only needs a person's first name and phone number to surface information about them, as TechCrunch notes. It may ask for other details, such as the person's age, if it can't find anything about them at first.
The service will look for indicators of a history of violence. It has a database of more than a billion records of violent and harmful behavior, namely public records of arrests and convictions, as well as sex offender registry information. As part of its mission to create a more equitable background check platform, Garbo excludes some non-violent, non-harmful offenses, such as drug possession charges, loitering, curfew violations and minor driving tickets.
If a background check suggests the match has a history of violence, you'll be encouraged to report them to Tinder. Match Group doesn't allow anyone reported for violent crimes to use its dating services. Garbo will also offer users mental health resources and a way to contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline.
Tinder users will each be able to conduct up to two background searches for free (up to 500,000 across the entire US userbase). Beyond that, Garbo searches cost $2.50 as well as a processing fee. Tinder won't take a cut. Garbo's service is available via its own website for the same price.
The app's parent company Match Group invested in Garbo last March. It plans to integrate the platform into its other dating apps to bolster user safety.