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Lawsuit Alleges Tinder and Other Match Dating Apps Encourage Compulsive Use

Lawsuit Alleges Tinder and Other Match Dating Apps Encourage Compulsive Use
The dating app Tinder is shown on a mobile phone in this picture | Lawsuit alleges Tinder, Hinge and The League by Match Group foster addiction, not genuine connections


  • Lawsuit accuses Match Group’s dating apps, including Tinder, Hinge, and The League, of encouraging compulsive use to generate profits.
  • Plaintiffs claim Match’s “predatory” business model defrauds users by rewarding addictive behaviors and enticing them to pay for subscriptions.
  • Match denies allegations, stating its focus is on facilitating real-life dates and improving user experiences.
  • Similar lawsuits against tech giants highlight broader concerns about addiction-inducing features in digital platforms.
  • Despite the popularity of dating apps, concerns emerge about their impact on mental health and relationships.
  • Plaintiffs seek damages for users and demand new warnings about addiction risks in Match’s advertising.

A proposed class action lawsuit filed on Wednesday claims that popular dating apps Tinder, Hinge, and The League, owned by Match Group, are deliberately designed to addict users rather than facilitate meaningful relationships. The plaintiffs argue that Match’s business model is “predatory” and aims to maximize profits by fostering compulsive use of its platforms, leading users to spend hundreds of dollars annually on subscriptions.

According to the complaint filed in federal court in San Francisco, Match employs features that gamify the dating experience, turning users into “gamblers” in pursuit of elusive psychological rewards. The plaintiffs, who reside in California, Florida, Georgia, and New York, allege that Match’s practices contradict its advertising slogan that its apps are “designed to be deleted.”

In response to the lawsuit, Match issued a statement dismissing the claims as baseless. The company emphasized that its business model is not based on advertising or engagement metrics and asserted its commitment to facilitating real-life dates rather than keeping users glued to their screens. Match’s CEO, Bernard Kim, highlighted the company’s efforts to continually improve user experiences through artificial intelligence technologies.

The lawsuit against Match Group echoes similar legal actions taken against tech giants like Google, Facebook (now Meta Platforms), TikTok (owned by ByteDance), and Snapchat (parented by Snap), accusing them of knowingly designing features to foster addiction among users, particularly children.

While dating apps have become increasingly popular avenues for meeting romantic partners, concerns have arisen regarding their potential negative effects on users’ mental health and relationships. The plaintiffs in this case allege that Match’s apps contribute to feelings of loneliness, anxiety, and depression, rather than fostering genuine connections.

The lawsuit accuses Match Group of negligence and violating state consumer protection laws, seeking unspecified damages for users who have paid for Tinder, Hinge, or The League subscriptions in the past four years. Additionally, the plaintiffs are calling for new warnings about the risks of addiction and the removal of the “designed to be deleted” language from Match’s advertising.

As the case unfolds in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, it raises important questions about the ethics of design choices in dating apps and the responsibility of tech companies to prioritize user well-being over profit.

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