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Lawsuit Alleges Tinder, Hinge, And Other Dating Apps Designed To Encourage 'Compulsive' Usage

A recent lawsuit alleges that popular dating apps like Tinder and Hinge are intentionally designed to encourage addictive behavior, prioritizing profit over helping users find meaningful relationships.

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Lawsuit Claims Dating Apps Designed To Encourage 'Compulsive' Usage Photo: Getty Images
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Caught in a cycle on dating apps without a date in sight? Allegations made in a lawsuit filed against Match Group on Wednesday suggest this could be intentionally designed and engineered. The proposed class-action lawsuit alleges that Tinder, Hinge, and other Match dating apps are saturated with addictive elements that foster "compulsive" usage.

Filed on Valentine’s Day in federal court in the Northern District of California, the lawsuit contends that Match deliberately structures its dating platforms with game-like features to “lock users into a perpetual pay-to-play loop”, prioritizing financial gain over fulfilling its commitment to aid users in finding relationships.

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Lawsuit Against Tinder, Hinge, and other Dating Apps
Lawsuit Against Tinder, Hinge, and other Dating Apps Photo: Getty Images
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According to the lawsuit, this practice transforms users into "addicts" who increasingly buy more expensive subscriptions to unlock special features that promise romantic connections and matches.

The lawsuit, filed by six dating app users and seeking class action status, asserts that “Match’s business model depends on generating returns through the monopolization of users’ attention, and Match has guaranteed its market success by fomenting dating app addiction that drives expensive subscriptions and perpetual use.”

While primarily targeting adults, the lawsuit emerges amid heightened scrutiny on tech companies for incorporating addictive features detrimental to the mental health of young individuals. For example, Meta Platforms, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, is currently facing a lawsuit from numerous states alleging its role in exacerbating youth mental health issues by crafting features on its platforms that foster addiction among children.

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According to the lawsuit against Match, the company's apps utilize "dopamine-manipulating product features" to transform users into “gamblers locked in a search for psychological rewards that Match makes elusive on purpose.”

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