Dating App Tinder Announces Panic Alarm to Alert Police of Dangerous Dates

A collection of new safety features includes photo verification and emergency call service

Tinder logo
Tinder. Photo: Illustration by Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty

A popular dating app will soon be getting a slew of updates dedicated to safety for its users, both online and in person.

On Thursday, Tinder revealed plans to add a panic button to let users discreetly call for emergency services if they feel they are in danger. The company integrated with Noonlight, a connected safety platform, to implement the feature.

“Noonlight acts as a silent bodyguard in situations when you’re alone or meeting someone for the first time,” Brittany LeComte, co-founder and CCO of Noonlight, said in a statement released by Tinder. “Now, through our integration with Tinder, it can serve as a quick backup for daters, helping to deter bad behavior and helping members meet matches with more confidence.”

Along with this added safety option, users will also be able to submit details of their upcoming dates, including their time and location. LeComte called it a “first-of-its-kind added security measure” for Tinder users when they move from connecting inside the app to meeting in real life.

According to the Wall Street Journal, if a person triggers the Noonlight alarm, the app will ask them to submit a code. If they don’t, a dispatcher will send them a text. If that goes unanswered, the company will notify authorities.

Tinder Introduces Safety-Focused Updates
Tinder’s emergency system. Tinder

Along with the panic button, Tinder is also introducing “verified profiles” that will include blue checkmarks on user pages, much like those found on Twitter and Instagram.

In order to receive a checkmark, users will have to go through a photo verification process to prove they are who they depict on the app.

The process involves taking pictures in specific poses — such as giving a wink — that are then compared to their previously uploaded pictures using artificial intelligence. This type of verification is supposed to curb catfishing, the act of someone using a different’s persons pictures to entice a match.

The feature won’t be widely available until later in the year.

Tinder Introduces Safety-Focused Updates
Profile verification on Tinder. Tinder

“Every day, millions of our members trust us to introduce them to new people, and we’re dedicated to building innovative safety features powered by best-in-class technology that meet the needs of today’s daters,” Tinder CEO Elie Seidman said in the company’s announcement.

Along with the features, the app will include an option to report offensive messages from matches. The feature — called “Does This Bother You?” — will be available in select markets, the company said. There will also be an “Undo” option that will ask users if they would like to take back a potentially inappropriate message.

Added Seidman: “I’m proud to share these updates, which represent an important step in driving our safety work forward at an unmatched scale.”

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