Lawsuit Alleges Dating Apps, Including Tinder, Designed for Addiction

By Consultants Review Team Thursday, 15 February 2024

A lawsuit filed against Match Group on Wednesday alleges that its dating apps, including Tinder, Hinge, and The League, are intentionally designed to create addiction among users, prioritizing profit over fostering genuine relationships.

According to the plaintiffs, Match's business model utilizes algorithms that encourage "compulsive use" of its platforms, leading users to spend significant amounts on subscriptions. The complaint, filed in federal court in San Francisco, describes Match's practices as "predatory" and accuses the company of employing gamification tactics to keep users engaged in a perpetual search for elusive psychological rewards.

The lawsuit, which seeks class-action status, was brought by six plaintiffs residing in various states across the United States. They argue that Match's approach contradicts its advertising claims that its apps are meant to facilitate meaningful connections and eventually be deleted.

In response, Match dismissed the allegations, labeling the lawsuit as baseless and asserting that its primary goal is to facilitate real-world dates and reduce app usage over time. Match's CEO, Bernard Kim, emphasized the company's commitment to refining user experiences through artificial intelligence and promptly abandoning ineffective features.

This legal action against Match reflects a broader trend of lawsuits targeting major tech companies, including Google, Facebook, TikTok, and Snapchat, for allegedly designing addictive features to retain users.

While dating apps have facilitated numerous relationships, the lawsuit highlights concerns about potential negative consequences, such as loneliness and anxiety, associated with excessive app usage. The plaintiffs claim that Match's apps foster addiction rather than genuine connections, often resulting in disappointing interactions like "breadcrumbing" or "ghosting."

The lawsuit accuses Match of negligence and violating state consumer protection laws, seeking damages for users who have paid for subscriptions over the past four years. Additionally, it calls for updated warnings regarding the risks of addiction and the removal of misleading advertising language promising apps "designed to be deleted.

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