Ah, dating apps. A necessary evil in our current romantic climate. Tinder, Bumble, Hinge; anyone under 30 has probably had one of them on their phone at one point or another. However, there’s a new app on the scene: Tame.
This new matchmaker claims to have the solutions to all of the problems we currently face. An end to ghosting? One match at a time? AI verified nudes? The features of this app seek to tackle the problems plaguing the current dating world with these interesting solutions.
Ghosting is probably the most prominent issue that arises when people think of what’s wrong with dating apps. Tame proposes a new solution to this issue by requiring users to justify why they no longer wish to talk with their match.
Many potential users pushed back against this idea, as they either did not want to know why they were being ghosted, or they felt let down from reactions to their reasoning. Twitter user Dr Marianne argues that many women do try to give explanations for no longer wishing to continue a connection, which “then proceeds to turn into slurs and wishing you physical harm”.
Another feature of the app is only allowing users to connect with one other user at a time. Now, while one match at a time may seem to lead to more intentional interactions, it feels a bit more like cage fighting. Dating is supposed to be about seeing who you click with, not locking you into a conversation with no escape. Well, there is an escape, you just have to provide acceptable justification to their AI.
And that brings us to the last advertised feature: AI verified nudes. According to a post outlining their features, all users must upload nudes to be verified with AI. Many people felt that this feature was invasive and did not make them feel more secure in their interactions.
While other popular apps, like Tinder, have recently incorporated AI into their own image verification strategies. All photos sent within the app are run through a program to certify their validity. Tinder also uses features that encourage users to take pictures right in the app in order to combat common scams.
Hinge also seeks to address these scamming issues by requiring users to upload a video selfie to their profile for identity verification. The feature was added in 2022 and followed in the footsteps of Tinder’s verification decisions.
While both Tinder and Hinge require photo verification by means of selfies or videos, neither have gone as far as Tame in mandating that users share a sample of their nudes when creating an account.
The issues that Tame seeks to address are very common ones in the world of online dating. Catfishing scams, specifically, have risen drastically as dating apps have developed. Catfishing involves creating a fake profile with the intent to deceive others. Scammers may use someone else's photos, invent a false identity, or pretend to have characteristics and interests that are not genuine.
The issue of dating scams rose to media attention with the Netflix film “The Tinder Swindler”. The true crime documentary recounts the story of multiple women who were catfished into sending a user millions of dollars. The man who catfished them, Shimon Hayut, was able to scam approximately $10 million dollars from the women.
Not every dating scam garners as much media attention as the Tinder Swindler, but they are much more common than most people are apt to believe. From 2020 to 2021, the amount of money lost to online dating scams rose by %80, leading to a total of $547 million stolen.
The FTC conducted a study in order to analyze the most common lies purported by scammers on dating apps. According to their research, “40% of people who said they lost money to a romance scam last year said the contact started on social media; 19% said it started on a website or app”.
Not only do scammers defraud their victims by requesting money, but the 2023 report showed that extortion by means of explicit images has become increasingly common. Scammers will request images from their victims and then use them as a means of blackmail. According to the FTC, “these reports have risen eightfold since 2019”.
The FTC also warned that while apps are trying to combat these issues, one of the best ways to ensure you don’t get scammed is to be on-guard when dating online. They advise that real, non-scammers will not be requesting money from you in any regard and also won’t offer investing advice. They also recommend reverse image searching the primary photos you are sent in order to verify the person’s identity.
In order to recognize a scam, the FTC provides the most common approaches to these scams, besides those listed above. While stories can be adjusted from person to person, it should be a red flag of possible scamming if the person you are talking to is unable to meet in person. Another common approach is that scammers will always instruct you on exactly how to pay. This list is not extensive, but provides online users with a starting place to recognize potential scams.
While most of the features on Tame aim to address common problems users face on dating apps, their approach has not been very well-received. The company themselves have acknowledged that they “realise our communication on certain features of Tame have caused some confusion”. Tame claims they are “committed to listening to your feedback and to take into account constructive criticism to improve Tame”.
While it remains to be seen what changes Tame will make in response to user criticism, users can rest assured that companies are working to promote genuine connections and decrease fraud in the online dating scene. No matter which app you're using, it’s important to be aware of the potential scams in order to best protect yourself.
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