Creating an online dating account is as easy as you’d imagine.
You download an app, write a witty profile, choose a few flattering photos, and begin.
For example, Grindr published an article titled “14 Messages Trans People Want You to Stop Sending on Dating Apps” on its media site, and the gay dating app Hornet bars users from referring to race or racial preferences in their profiles.
Changes like these could have a big impact on society, the authors said, as the popularity of dating apps continues to grow and fewer relationships begin in places like bars, neighborhoods and workplaces.
For example, black men and women are 10 times more likely to message whites than white people are to message black people.
“Intimacy is very private, and rightly so, but our private lives have impacts on larger socioeconomic patterns that are systemic.” Fifteen percent of Americans report using dating sites, and some research estimates that a third of marriages – and 60 percent of same-sex relationships – started online.
Tinder and Grindr have tens of millions of users, and Tinder says it has facilitated 20 billion connections since its launch.
Algorithms can introduce discrimination, intentionally or not.
In 2016, a Buzzfeed reporter found that the dating app Coffee Meets Bagel showed users only potential partners of their same race, even when the users said they had no preference.