The dating world has changed, and as more people meet via dating apps and online services, more predators are using the sites, too. Back in 2011, Match.com settled a lawsuit with a woman who claimed she was sexually assaulted by a fellow member of the site. While Match posts safety tips for online dating, critics say dating services can do more to keep their users safe.
Now, Match Group is taking a step toward doing just that.
The company behind popular match-making services like Tinder, OkCupid, and Match.com is forming a new board with a mission of preventing sexual assault, Axios reports. To give the new Match Group Advisory Council some teeth, they have conscripted six members, including Tarana Burke, who founded the #MeToo movement and serves as the senior director of Girls for Gender Equity.
The council, which will convene four times a year, will advise Match Group on how to improve safety on its platforms, study how safety plays out on online dating platforms and could advise Match Group on new safety features, like a possible RAINN hotline.
A cynic might point out that Match made the move in the wake of legislation like SESTA/FOSTA, which makes online platforms liable if they knowingly facilitate sex trafficking. Either way, it’s good when companies start to think about their customers as more than just dollar signs.
We reached out to Match for comment and Match Group CEO Mandy Ginsberg gave us this statement:
As a mother with two daughters, I want to do what I can so that future generations don’t have to live in fear of sexual assault. And as a CEO of a tech organization with significant resources, forming this council and supporting organizations like Me Too, RAINN, THORN, NCMEC in their work to stop sexual assault, is so obvious. There’s a real opportunity for us to learn from these experts, enhance our products, and support the organizations that are working day and night to make the world a safer place.