People Are Suing Dating Apps For Being ‘Predatory’ – But Why?

Interesting one...

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Plenty of predatory behaviour occurs on dating apps.

People send unsolicited pics. They lie about their age. They go on dates and engage in inappropriate behaviour.

It’s unacceptable, and yet for many it has become a regular (and unfortunate) part of their dating experience.

Now, however, it appears as though dating apps are the ones being dubbed predatory… at least by a select group of people in the US, that is.

A lawsuit filed in California (on Valentine’s Day, nonetheless) has claimed that certain dating apps are preying on users, designed to become addictive and make money, rather than simply helping people to date.

The claim states that apps like Tinder, Hinge, and others that fall under the Match company umbrella encourage compulsive usage, and are designed to make users spend money to gain access to better profiles.

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The lawsuit says” “Match’s business model depends on generating returns through the monopolization of users’ attention, and Match has guaranteed its market success by fomenting dating app addiction that drives expensive subscriptions and perpetual use.”

It goes on to compare the apps to gambling sites, where “gamblers [are] locked in a search for psychological rewards that Match makes elusive on purpose.”

Match have responded to the claim, saying it is “ridiculous and has zero merit”. They said: “Our business model is not based on advertising or engagement metrics. We actively strive to get people on dates every day and off our apps. Anyone who states anything else doesn’t understand the purpose and mission of our entire industry.”

It’s worth noting that the suit was filed by six men, not women, which makes the use of the word ‘predatory’ even more interesting.

According to the CSO, 40% of people in Ireland have reported being sexually assaulted in their lifetime, with women four times more likely to experience sexual violence.

Apps like Tinder and Hinge can’t be blamed for perpetuating such violence – in fact, companies like Bumble have specific actions in place to protect women – so it seems a little misguided to dub such apps ‘predatory’ for simply gamifying dating.

Sure, meeting new people may have become more difficult due to the sheer amount of choice available, but if we’re going to chat about ‘predatory’ behaviour, it might be best to take a look at those using the apps, rather than those building them.