Tinder adding a ‘panic button’ for when dates go awry

The button tracks users' locations and alerts authorities.

Jan 23, 2020, 6:18 pm*

IRL

Mikael Thalen 

Mikael Thalen

Shutterstock (Licensed)

Online dating service Tinder plans to introduce several new safety features, including what it describes as a “panic button.”

The popular dating app, according to the Wall Street Journal, intends to begin rolling out some of the new features by the end of January.

Tinder teamed up with the app Noonlight, which tracks users’ locations and allows them to quickly alert law enforcement to potential safety issues, in order to integrate the feature.

Users of the dating app will also be able to add a badge to their profiles indicating that safety features have been enabled. Mandy Ginsberg, the chief executive of Tinder’s parent company Match Group, told the WSJ that the badge is intended to act as a deterrent.

“You should run a dating business as if you are a mom. I think a lot about safety, especially on our platforms, and what we can do to curtail bad behavior,” Ginsberg said. “There are a lot of things we tell users to do. But if we can provide tools on top of that, we should do that as well.”

When pressed about potential privacy issues, Ginsberg claimed that location data gathered as part of the feature would not be used for marketing purposes. Ginsberg also stated that the issue of false positives was taken into account when designing the panic button.

“Worst case someone shows up and knocks on the door,” Ginsberg said. “It’s not the worst thing in the world.”

The panic button isn’t the only new safety feature coming to Tinder. The dating app is also introducing a new verification system that will place a blue checkmark on accounts that have been proven to be real.

Users will first be shown an image of a model in a specific pose and then be asked to take a selfie in the same pose. Tinder will then verify that both images match before placing the blue checkmark on their account.

Given that humans will be carrying out the verification process, the feature will only be available in select locations, such as Ireland, until the feature can be automated, according to the Verge.

The final feature will work by detecting potentially offensive messages and giving users the option to report them. In the future, users will also be able to unsend comments that could be viewed as offensive as well.

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H/T the Wall Street Journal

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*First Published: Jan 23, 2020, 6:14 pm