Dallas & New York, March 9, 2022 — Starting today, Garbo’s new online background check platform will be made available to the general public in the U.S., and will also be launched to Tinder members via Tinder’s Safety Center, marking a first-of-its-kind partnership for the dating industry.
Match Group (NASDAQ: MTCH) previously announced a significant contribution to Garbo to help the non-profit organization accelerate its growth and adoption across the technology industry.
Founded by Kathryn Kosmides, Garbo enables individuals to easily access public information about violent or harmful behavior, including arrests, convictions, and sex offender registry records. Garbo seeks to democratize access to public safety information, which has traditionally been cost-prohibitive and difficult to obtain, and empowers people to make more informed decisions about who they interact with in real life.
Match Group is also partnering with the National Domestic Violence Hotline (The Hotline) to ensure survivors have 24/7 access to resources and information, including a direct chat connection on Garbo. Garbo users seeking more information about healthy relationships and relationship abuse will now have the ability to “live chat” with a highly-trained advocate from The Hotline — a frontline resource for survivors and a trusted provider of information, referrals, and safety planning. The Hotline’s advocates provide high-quality, trauma-informed education, validation, and connection to services that empower victims and survivors to make life-changing decisions with dignity and respect.
Garbo works alongside dozens of experts and advocates – including through its internal Advocacy Council, which includes individuals from the National Center for Victims of Crime, the Center for Court Innovation, and EndTAB (Ending Technology-Enabled Abuse) – to find the balance between privacy and safety. Garbo’s offense reporting policy is designed to return search results relevant to the user’s safety and exclude certain offenses like drug possession, loitering, and vagrancy, which often disproportionately affect traditionally marginalized communities. Garbo also excludes returning additional personal identifying information, such as home addresses and phone numbers.
Each search on Garbo costs $2.50 plus a small processing fee per transaction. At launch, Tinder will offer two free background check searches to each user, up to 500,000 free searches total. All costs go directly to Garbo to fund operations and the fees associated with record searches.
“We know that the biggest indicator of future abuse or violence is a history of these types of behaviors. Whether it’s online dating or the dozens of other ways we meet strangers in today’s digital age, we should know if we’re potentially putting our safety at risk,” says Kathryn Kosmides. “We want to protect those most vulnerable to experiencing harm both online and offline and this is just the first step in delivering on our mission to help proactively prevent harm in the digital age.”
“For far too long women and traditionally marginalized groups have faced many barriers to resources and safety,” said Tracey Breeden, Head of Safety and Social Advocacy at Match Group. “Garbo’s thoughtful and innovative consumer background checks will drive the industry forward while empowering people with critical information to help inform personal safety choices.”
Anyone can now sign up for Garbo by visiting www.garbo.io. Tinder users can follow these directions:
Tap on the blue shield from anywhere in the app. From there, navigate to the Safety Center, then the tools section where you’ll see a Garbo article. Tap on the Garbo article where you’ll be given directions to Garbo’s website.
Fill in basic information about your match. Typically all you need is your match’s first name and phone number. If Garbo can’t locate a unique match, the search will not return any results and they’ll prompt you for more information, including their age.
Once Garbo has surfaced a result, users can choose what to do with that information. Members are encouraged to report a match to Tinder if they are found to have a history of violence. Mental health and sexual violence resources, including the direct chat with The National Domestic Violence Hotline, are available on Garbo’s results pages. Tinder members also have access to a dedicated Crisis Text Line within the Safety Center, along with international resources and U.S. resources like RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network). And, just because someone does not have a report on Garbo or a documented history of violence, does not mean they are safe. Trust your instincts and be sure to follow Tinder’s Safety Tips when meeting someone new for the first time.
Tinder is the first Match Group property to provide access to Garbo, with other Match Group U.S. brands to follow in the coming months.
About Match Group
Match Group (NASDAQ: MTCH), through its portfolio companies, is a leading provider of digital technologies designed to help people make meaningful connections. Our global portfolio of brands includes Tinder®, Match®, Hinge®, Meetic®, OkCupid®, Pairs™, PlentyOfFish®, OurTime®, Azar®, Hakuna™ Live, and more, each built to increase our users' likelihood of connecting with others. Through our trusted brands, we provide tailored services to meet the varying preferences of our users. Our services are available in over 40 languages to our users all over the world.
Garbo is on a mission to help proactively prevent harm in the digital age through technology, tools, and education—including through our new kind of online background check. To learn more about Garbo and our platform, please visit www.garbo.io
About the National Domestic Violence Hotline
The National Domestic Violence Hotline (The Hotline) envisions a world where all relationships are positive, healthy, and free from violence. If you or someone you know is experiencing relationship abuse, help is available. The Hotline provides free, confidential support 24/7. Call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233), text START to 88788, or chat online at thehotline.org.
For further information:
Match Group Corporate Communications