Tinder swipes left on catfishing: Dating app starts using artificial intelligence to check users’ profile photos are real

  • Tinder users may soon be able to have their profile photos automatically verified
  • AI will determined authenticity by comparing profile pics with real-time selfies 
  • The feature is being tested in select areas before it is rolled out across the globe
  • Other safety features being launched include a safety centre and panic button

Tinder is to ‘swipe left’ on catfishing as the popular dating app starts using artificial intelligence to check that profile photos uploaded by users are genuine.

The photo verification feature will allow members to get their images authenticated by posing for a series of real-time selfies.

Human-assisted artificial intelligence technology will then compare these submission to existing profile photos to confirm that they do match up.

Once a person’s photos have been verified, their profile will be granted a blue checkmark icon so that other users can trust their appearance is genuine.

The verification feature is one of a number of dating safety features being added to Tinder, which will also gain a dedicated in-app safety centre and panic button.

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Tinder is to ‘swipe left’ on catfishing and online scammers as the popular dating app starts using artificial intelligence to check that profile photos uploaded by users are genuine 

“Every day, millions of our members trust us to introduce them to new people,’ said Tinder’s chief executive officer Elie Seidman.

‘We’re dedicated to building innovative safety features powered by best-in-class technology that meet the needs of today’s daters.’ 

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

Photo verification is just one of several new safety features announced today by the Match Group -owned platform.

The so-called ‘Does this bother you?’ feature will use machine learning to try to identify offensive messages and provide users with an option to report inappropriate behaviour.

Similar technology will power an ‘undo’ feature, which will prompt users to recall messages with potentially offensive language before they are fully sent.

The photo verification feature will allow members to get their images authenticated by posing of a series of real-time selfies. Human-assisted artificial intelligence technology will then compare these submission to existing profile photos to confirm that they do match up

Tinder will also be unveiling a dedicated ‘safety centre’ in-app to explain the new security measures and provide links to resources and tools, such as links to sexual assault and human trafficking hotlines. 

The safety centre will eventually be personalized to suit the needs of individual users, the firm said.

Some of the features — like photo verification and ‘Does this bother you?’ — will be tested in select markets before they are made more widely available. 

The other tools will be rolled out across Tinder and the Match Groups other dating platforms — including Hinge, Match.com and OkCupid — over the coming months.

Tinder is one of the world’s leading dating apps, which claims that it receives around two billion views per day and is responsible for around one million dates every week. 

Tinder will also be unveiling a dedicated ‘safety centre’ in-app to explain the new security measures and provide links to resources and tools, such as links to sexual assault hotlines

In the US, Tinder has also teamed up with existing personal safety service Noonlight. 

The collaboration will allow daters to share details such as who they are meeting, where and when via Noonlight’s so-called ‘timeline’ feature — as well as provide an easy and discreet way to call emergency services if needed.

‘Noonlight acts as a silent bodyguard in situations when you’re alone or meeting someone for the first time,’ explained Noonlight co-founder Brittany LeComte.

‘Now, through our integration with Tinder, it can serve as a quick backup for daters, helping to deter bad behaviour and helping members meet matches with more confidence.’

‘It’s a first-of-its-kind added security measure to help protect Tinder members even when they’ve taken their interactions off the app into real life.’

In the US, Tinder has also teamed up with existing personal safety service Noonlight. The collaboration will allow daters to share details such as who they are meeting, where and when via Noonlight’s so-called ‘timeline’ feature

Tinder is one of the world’s leading dating apps, which claims that it receives around two billion views per day and is responsible for around one million dates every week

HOW CAN YOU CHECK IF YOU ARE BEING CATFISHED?

Dating apps and online websites are plagued with fraudulent profiles, known as ‘catfishes’.

‘Catfishing’ originated as a term for the process of luring people into false relationships, however, it has also come to encompass people giving out false information about themselves more generally. 

These profiles often use images of another person to allow users to pretend to be someone else in order to get a date, or scam money from a lonelyheart.

Fortunately, there are certain ways to check if these profiles are real people or if they are bogus accounts —

1. Google reverse image search

This is probably the most valuable tool for catching out a catfish and can be done via Google. 

To kickstart the process, people need only right-click the photos that are arousing their suspcions, copy the URL and paste it into images.google.com.

The search engine will search to see if the image has been used elsewhere.

If you find the picture associated with a different person to the one you’re speaking to on your dating app, it’s likely you’ve met a catfish! 

2. Use an app called Veracity 

It is useful for dating sites such as Tinder, Bumble and Grindr as it allows images from Dropbox or Camera roll (or similar) to be cross-referenced against any matching results.

Load the app, then select a screenshot of the suspicious dating app profile from your camera roll to launch the search.

The app will tell you if the picture belongs to somebody else. 

3. Check their Facebook 

Almost everyone who has a profile on a dating site will have a Facebook account (most dating apps require users to have one, after all!) so it is always advisable to track down your potential suitor on other forms of social media.

4. Google them

Google and other search engines have an extensive repertoire and most people will crop up in a search. 

In this day and age, it’s unusual for someone to have nothing on Google.

Have a search through for them or their relatives, things they’ve said or posted in the past. If there’s nothing, that should raise alarm bells.

5. Skype/Facetime/Video Chat 

For prospective romantic engagements, seeing the face of someone you are virtually talking to is essential. 

6.  Money

Anyone that asks for money online or via an app is likely to be a fraud. 

This is probably a scam and should provide immediate red flags.   

 

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