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The operator of Tinder, Hinge, and OkCupid is being sued over claims it made them addictive and puts profit over love

Thibault Spirlet   

The operator of Tinder, Hinge, and OkCupid is being sued over claims it made them addictive and puts profit over love
  • The operator of dating platforms Tinder, Hinge, and OkCupid is being sued.
  • Six plaintiffs claim the firm designed the apps to make them addictive and put profit over love.

The operator of dating platforms Tinder, Hinge, and OkCupid is being sued over claims it makes its apps addictive and puts profit over love.

In a class action lawsuit filed on Wednesday in the US District Court for the Northern District of California, six plaintiffs said that the platforms deliberately created addictive, game-like design features to lock users into an endless "pay-to-play loop."

They claimed that Match Group, the parent company, actively presents the platforms as "effective tools" for building relationships off-app while exerting every effort to attract, retain, and reward paying subscribers online.

It does so through various means, the lawsuit said, including driving expensive subscriptions and perpetual use, creating, developing, and promoting psychologically manipulative product features, and pressuring users into buying a subscription.

Match also misrepresents the designs, makes false promises to consumers, and continues to distribute the platforms without disclosing their harmful addictive use, the lawsuit claimed.

The lawsuit also cited Hinge’s market promise that the app is "Designed to be Deleted."

The fact that the company does not disclose the "purposely" addictive design of the platform to users violates consumer protection and other laws in various states, the lawsuit said.

Match Group did not immediately reply to Business Insider’s request for comments.

NPR was the first to report on the lawsuit.

Speaking to the outlet, a spokesperson for Match Group denied the allegations, saying the case was "ridiculous and has zero merit."

"Our business model is not based on advertising or engagement metrics," they said, adding: "We actively strive to get people on dates every day and off our apps. Anyone who states anything else doesn't understand the purpose and mission of our entire industry."

Match Group owns the largest global portfolio of popular online dating services, including Tinder, Match.com, OkCupid, Hinge, Plenty of Fish, OurTime, and other dating brands, per its website.

In 2023, its total revenue grew by 6% to about $3.4 billion, per Match Group's letter to its shareholders, while profitability was at record levels for the second consecutive quarter in Q4 2023, it said.

The group has hundreds of millions of reported users across its platforms, per its latest business overview, published in August 2023.

The six plaintiffs are seeking monetary recovery of the premium fees they paid the platforms, as well as injunctive action to force the firm to cease its unlawful practices, per the lawsuit.




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