Valentine’s Day $5m Lawsuit Claims That Tinder Transforms Users Into Gamblers

  • The lawsuit is against Tinder and Hinge’s parent company Match Group
  • The plaintiffs claim that the apps prioritize profits over achieving dating goals
  • Match issued a statement in response to say that the lawsuit has no merit
Dating apps on a phone
A Valentine’s Day lawsuit claims that the parent company of Tinder and Hinge prioritize profits over helping people find love. [Image:]

No love lost

The timing of a lawsuit against prominent dating apps Tinder and Hinge on Valentine’s Day certainly grabbed attention. The class action filing in San Francisco on Wednesday against Match Group, the owner of the apps, claims that they transform their users into gamblers by encouraging compulsive behavior.

subscription packages and other purchasable perks

Tinder and Hinge, among the most popular apps in their genre, have subscription packages and other purchasable perks that provide extra features, such as showing users which people already liked their profile or providing unlimited swipes.

The six plaintiffs are looking for $5m in damages for the company’s violations of statutes like the California False Advertising Law and the California Consumer Legal Remedies Act.

A range of issues

The plaintiffs claim that these platforms have changed social reality, replacing traditional courtship with technology. They also allege that the parent company designed the platforms with complex algorithms and technologies that make them addictive and exhibit game-like characteristics to get people stuck in an ongoing payment loop.

gamification aspect allegedly gets people stuck in a hunt “for psychological rewards”

The complaint contends that the company prioritizes profits over actually helping people achieve their relationship goals. The gamification aspect allegedly gets people stuck in a hunt “for psychological rewards that Match makes elusive on purpose.”

They believe that this is hurting the mental health of users, citing a study from eHarmony that showed that 90% of single people feel they have a dating app addiction. The research also stated that large portions of people check these apps right before going to sleep and first thing in the morning.

Denying any wrongdoing

Match issued a statement in response to the filing of the lawsuit, saying that it is ridiculous and has no merit. It clarified that its business model does not focus on engagement or advertising. Rather, it aims to help people to find love and no longer need the apps.  

While Tinder is free to download, it costs $7.99 for a person to get the most basic single-month subscription.

Other social media platforms like Twitter and Meta have been on the receiving end of similar accusations of manipulating users to stay on the apps for longer periods of time.

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