Tinder announces ID verification feature to end online catfishing


If you’ve engaged with the internet at all back in 2010, then you’ve probably come across Nev Schulman’s online love story.

The internet blew up with Schulman’s online relationship with a 19-year-old girl, in which romance blossomed between them for nine months.

Unfortunately, the love story does not have a happy ending.

After meeting in real life, Schulman learned that he’s been engaging romantically with a housewife using fake photos to create a web of lies.

Schulman isn’t the only victim of catfishing. Even though the film director turned his disastrous love story into a successful documentary, other victims aren’t so lucky.

Statistics show that around 50 percent of all romance scams reported to the Federal Trade Commission since 2019 till 2021 involve social media, with Tinder being one of the social networking sites.

However, things are about to take a detour, as Tinder announced on Wednesday that in the upcoming months of 2021, users are expected to verify their ID on the app. 

The feature was first introduced in Japan back in 2019, but it will be available worldwide in its first phases as a voluntary option, except for countries where its mandated by the law.

“ID Verification is complex and nuanced, which is why we are taking a test-and-learn approach to the rollout,” Rory Kozoll, Head of Trust and Safety Product at Tinder told media reporters.

 “We know one of the most valuable things Tinder can do to make members feel safe is to give them more confidence that their matches are authentic and more control over who they interact with. We look forward to a day when as many people as possible are verified on Tinder.”

The feature which is free of charge, will be used to ensure the dating application will be a secure space away from individuals listed in the sex offender registry in regions where that information is accessible.

It’s reassuring to learn that Tinder is investing in safety features, but its impact may be limited due to the fact that the ID verification feature is optional. Besides, as smartphones and internet devices are continuously advancing and becoming ever more invasive, users can figure out a multitude of loopholes to crack Tinder’s latest feature.

Catfishing will likely continue to act a common side-effect for the coming generations. However, banning offenders prior to signing up could decrease the need for such safety features in the first place.