Sex dating service
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.
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.
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.
Only a fraction of these cases involved a registered sex offender.
(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.
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.
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.
It puts responsibility for policing its users on users themselves.
Customers who sign its service agreement promise they haven’t committed “a felony or indictable offense (or crime of similar severity), a sex crime, or any crime involving violence,” and aren’t “required to register as a sex offender with any state, federal or local sex offender registry.” Plenty of Fish doesn’t attempt to verify whether its users tell the truth, according to the company. They chatted online and eventually arranged a date. But months after their Plenty of Fish match, Deveau became the second woman to report to police that Papamechail raped her after they had met through a dating app.