A Match Group investor sued current and former board members for the company’s failure to keep predators off its platforms, like Tinder, leading to assaults. The case also claims that moderators refused to delete fake accounts and used them to “knowingly capitalize on fraud”.
The 167-page lawsuit claims that Match Group moderators let “fake love interest” emails past scam filters and that the company, that has several dating apps, like Tinder, Match, OkCupid, Hinge, PlentyofFish, etc., has been negligent, which may have led to other assaults taking place.
Last October, the Australian radio show Triple J Hack found that “Tinder’s design helps sexual predators cover their tracks”, by letting offenders use the ‘unmatch’ function to block their victims after a rape to delete any trace of their prior communication.
The app also offered inadequate support to those victims. Only 11 of the 48 individuals who reported incidents received a response from the dating app, most of them were generic messages with little to no information about the actions taken.
These issues were first raised by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in September 2019. The FTC sued Match Group, alleging that the company used fake love interest advertisements to trick hundreds of thousands of consumers into purchasing paid subscriptions on Match.com.
Users were being told there were messages they couldn’t read unless they became paying subscribers. It’s believed that Match Group knew it was promoting fake accounts and that almost half a million users paid to view these messages.
The new plaintiff alleges: “Match.com had the ability to detect potentially fraudulent users and block their communications…it did, but only for a fee. For nonsubscribers, on the other hand, Match.com used the fraudulent users to entice membership subscriptions,” as Bloomberg Law reported.
Shortly after the report from Triple J Hack was published, Match Group partnered with RAINN, the largest anti-sexual violence organization in the U.S.
Match Group said that they are prepared to “vigorously” defend themselves in court. The US Department of Justice closed its investigation in September 2020.