Dating sites sex
Other response protocols aren’t standardized across Match Group apps.
In a brief statement, the company said it “takes the safety, security and well-being of our users very seriously.” Match Group said “a relatively small amount of the tens of millions of people using one of our dating services have fallen victim to criminal activity by predators.” It added, “We believe any incident of misconduct or criminal behavior is one too many.”Interviews with more than a dozen former Match Group employees — from customer service representatives and security managers at Ok Cupid to senior executives at Tinder — paint a different picture.
But over this same period, as Match evolved into the publicly traded Match Group and bought its competitors, the company hasn’t extended this practice across its platforms — including Plenty of Fish, its second most popular dating app.
The lack of a uniform policy allows convicted and accused perpetrators to access Match Group apps and leaves users vulnerable to sexual assault, a 16-month investigation by Columbia Journalism Investigations found.
Most victims, almost all women, met their male attackers through Tinder, Ok Cupid, Plenty of Fish, or Match. In 10% of the incidents, dating platforms matched their users with someone who had been accused or convicted of sexual assault at least once, the analysis found.
Its top dating app, Tinder, has 5.2 million subscribers, surpassing such popular rivals as Bumble.Even Pennsylvania registered sex offender Seth Mull, whose 17-year history of sex crimes convictions began as a teen, used Match Group’s dating sites; in 2017, Plenty of Fish didn’t flag his eight-year registry status before matching him with a woman who later accused him of rape.Mull is now serving life in prison for her rape and two more rapes, among other sex crimes.Match Group, which owns most major online dating services, screens for sexual predators on Match — but not on Tinder, Ok Cupid, or Plenty of Fish.A spokesperson said, “There are definitely registered sex offenders on our free products.” Susan Deveau saw Mark Papamechail’s online dating profile on Plenty of Fish in late 2016.Yet the analysis suggests that Match’s screening policy has helped to prevent the problem: Almost all of these cases implicated Match Group’s free apps; the only service that scours sex offender registries, Match, had none.In 2017, Tinder matched Massachusetts registered sex offender Michael Durgin with a woman, and she later told police he had raped her on their first date; Durgin’s two rape charges were dropped after the woman “indicated that she does not wish for the Commonwealth to proceed to trial,” records show.For nearly a decade, its flagship website, Match, has issued statements and signed agreements promising to protect users from sexual predators.The site has a policy of screening customers against government sex offender registries.(Durgin didn’t respond to requests for comment.) Ok Cupid allowed another registered sex offender, Michael Miller, of Colorado, to create a new account after his 2015 conviction for raping a woman he met through the site.For months, Miller remained on the platform despite appearing on the registries Match screens.