Catfishing on dating apps is a big problem (literally happened to me yesterday – shout out to the dude who turned out to be married) and all the big names are trying to work out ways to reduce it.
Tinder's latest idea is a real-time photo challenge called, somewhat cringily, Selfies For Safety.
In order to get a blue Not-A-Catfish tick on your profile, the app will challenge you to take a series of selfies in specific poses. It'll then apparently use "human-assisted AI technology" to see if it's the same person as in your existing photos. Thankfully it doesn't sound like the selfies get uploaded to your profile for other people to see, because that could be awkward.
Tinder CEO Elie Seidman had this to say about the new scheme:
"Every day, millions of our members trust us to introduce them to new people, and we’re dedicated to building innovative safety features powered by best-in-class technology that meet the needs of today’s daters. I’m proud to share this update, which represents an important step in driving our safety work forward."
Honestly, we're not entirely convinced. Google, for instance, has some of the best facial recognition tech out there, and its Google Photos product identified my ex as Lin-Manuel Miranda (I wish) and me as Andrea Bowen from Desperate Housewives (I seriously wish). It also asked if I was the same person after I put on a bit of lockdown weight (rude).
It's not clear exactly how human-assisted the AI is, but we'd hope it's not just a case of saying "this person also has brown hair and a face, and the AI says this is the right pose, have at it." The example "pose" in the press image is just a wink – not that hard to find a winking photo of someone you're impersonating, and a verified catfish is an even more dangerous catfish – that blue tick carries a lot of weight on the internet.
Tinder's tech blog hasn't been updated since January and doesn't mention the feature, which is a shame because we'd like to know more about how it actually works.
If you want to verify your own Tinder profile, here's the drill:
- Open Tinder and tap the profile icon
- Tap the grey tick by your name and age
- Tap ‘Verify your profile’
- You’ll be shown a pose and Tinder will ask you to copy that pose and take a selfie
- Make sure your photo shows you absolutely nailing the pose, then tap ‘Submit for review’
- Repeat steps 4 & 5 one more time
What do you think of Selfies For Safety (which genuinely sounds like a bad social media campaign for a charity, we might add. Live Aid for the Fyre Festival generation)? Would an AI-assisted blue tick convince you someone is safe? Let us know in the comments, daters.