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Addicted to swiping right? Lawsuit claims Tinder and Hinge are designed to get users hooked

Emily Bloch, The Philadelphia Inquirer on

Published in Lifestyles

If you’re swiping on dating apps for hours, you’re not alone — and a new lawsuit claims it’s by design.

Dating apps such as Tinder and Hinge are intentionally addictive, a class-action lawsuit filed in federal court in California on Valentine’s Day claims.

Hidden algorithms push users to stay on the apps and “gamify dating” — counterintuitive to the apps’ intended purpose to help people find connections and form relationships, six plaintiffs contend in the lawsuit.

“The truth is the apps are designed to be addictive,” according to the filing. “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.”

Match Group — which owns platforms including Tinder, Match.com, OkCupid, Hinge, and Plenty of Fish — called the lawsuit “ridiculous” and meritless.

“Our business model is not based on advertising or engagement metrics. 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,” the company said in a statement to multiple news outlets.

 

Notably, the lawsuit takes aim at Hinge’s “designed to be deleted” tagline. The suit calls that language “false advertising,” claiming stakeholders haven’t designed the app to be deleted at all. It also takes issue with the platforms’ premium versions, which are among the company’s primary source of revenue.

“The lawsuit is a bit absurd, if I’m honest,” psychologist and relationship coach Jo Hemmings told The Washington Post, adding that “responsibility lies in the hands of the user,” not the apps or developers.

“Like any app, it’s a business, it’s there to make money,” Hemmings said, adding that this is standard business practice for attracting and keeping users.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages for people who have used paid versions of Tinder, Hinge, and other Match Group apps in the last four years. It also seeks added warning language about the risks of addiction and for Hinge to remove its “designed to be deleted” slogan.


©2024 The Philadelphia Inquirer, LLC. Visit at inquirer.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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