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Acknowledging the limitations, the spokesperson said, “There are definitely registered sex offenders on our free products.” CJI analyzed more than 150 incidents of sexual assault involving dating apps, culled from a decade of news reports, civil lawsuits, and criminal records.Most incidents occurred in the past five years and during the app users’ first in-person meeting, in parking lots, apartments, and dorm rooms.But it doesn’t take that step on Tinder, Ok Cupid or Plenty of Fish — or any of its free platforms.A Match Group spokesperson told CJI the company cannot implement a uniform screening protocol because it doesn’t collect enough information from its free users — and some paid subscribers — even when they pay for premium features.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.
For months, Miller remained on the platform despite appearing on the registries Match screens.
Match first agreed to screen for registered sex offenders in 2011 after Carole Markin made it her mission to improve its safety practices.
The site had connected her with a six-time convicted rapist who, she told police, had raped her on their second date.
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.