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Dating and sex

In the immortal words of rapper Eminem, back to the lab again, yo.

As can sometimes be the case when meeting people through dating apps and sites, you don't always know what you're getting into.

You can see photos, bios and answers to quirky personality questions, but that's about it.

In a report out this week, Columbia Journalism Investigations and Pro Publica charged that Match Group, the company that owns popular dating apps like Tinder and Ok Cupid, doesn't perform background checks on users.

Alternatively, you may feel dishonest or insincere withholding this information.

If so, consider sharing before a relationship becomes serious.

It's also an unfortunate reminder you can't always rely on your favorite services to have your back.

Match Group strongly refuted the report in a statement, saying it's "inaccurate, disingenuous and mischaracterizes Match Group safety policies as well as our conversations with Pro Publica." The company said it spends millions of dollars annually to prevent, monitor and remove "bad actors," including registered sex offenders, from its apps.

"As technology evolves, we will continue to aggressively deploy new tools to eradicate bad actors, including users of our free products like Tinder, Plenty of Fish and Ok Cupid where we are not able to obtain sufficient and reliable information to make meaningful background checks possible," Match Group said.

The FBI also has corralled individual state sex offender registries as well.

CNET also has a guide to not getting catfished, offering such tips as setting up a phone call in advance of a date, doing a reverse image search of profile photos to make sure they weren't stolen from someone else, and keeping an eye out for other warning signs, like requests for money or an unwillingness to meet in person.

155 comments

  1. With little exception, I've found a balding, arthritic, corpulent army – ageing versions of the boys I knew as a teenager. Anonymous. Fri 16 Aug.

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