Dating site Tinder has announced that it will be introducing ID verification on its platform.
This means that, globally, you’ll be prompted to verify your identity prior to interacting with others. While Tinder launched photo verification back in June 2020, it is now committing to ID Verification, too.
Identity verification – and lack of it online – has been a contention point for years now, with many arguing that people should be help to account for their actions.
Take the trolling following the Euro 2020 final, where Bukayo Saka, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho were racially abused. Many believe that trolls wouldn’t have acted without the anonymity of social media, although research from Twitter published last week found that 99% of the accounts suspended during the tournament because of online abuse rule breaches weren’t, in fact, posting under anonymous pseudonyms at all.
This hasn’t stopped many rallying since then to encourage tech giants to make moves to combat online abuse and trolling.
Initially, the ID verification will be voluntary, unless otherwise stated as a requirement by law.
Those in favour of ID verification argue that it’s a simple way of removing anonymity from social media and holding those wishing to troll others accountable for their actions.
Those opposing the idea says that it will leave no room for anonymity online – for instance, in the case of whistleblowers, who would be exposed and likely less forthcoming with information.
Tracey Breeden, vice president of safety and social advocacy at Tinder’s parent firm, Match Group said: “We know that in many parts of the world and within traditionally marginalised communities, people might have compelling reasons that they can’t or don’t want to share their real-world identity with an online platform.”
“Creating a truly equitable solution for ID verification is a challenging but critical safety project and we are looking to our communities as well as experts to help inform our approach.”
While reps for the app say that the ID issue is ‘complex and nuanced’, they promised to keep ‘evolving’ their approach.
Twitter reps have said that they ‘fully acknowledge’ that more needs to be done to stop online trolling, catfishing and abuse, inferring that the issue is not in fact social media, but a wider societal problem.
What do you reckon – is ID verification on social media apps a step forwards or a violation of freedom of speech?