Dating apps can be a toxic space, especially for members of marginalised groups, so it's great to hear that Tinder is rolling out a new feature designed to reduce abuse.
The app's "are you sure?" feature uses AI to detect harmful language, then asks users if they definitely want to hit "send" on their message.
The harmful language that triggers the "are you sure?" feature is based on abusive terms that Tinder users have reported in the past. Over time, this list of trigger words will "continue to evolve and improve", the app says.
Tinder says that in early tests, the "are you sure?" feature has reduced inappropriate language in messages sent by more than 10%.
Tinder already asks users who receive a message containing potentially harmful language "does this bother you?" The aim is to make it easier for them to report abuse. In addition, dating apps typically use moderators to reprimand and potentially ban users who send abusive messages.
However, the new feature puts the onus on the person sending abusive messages to change their own behaviour before it becomes a problem.
Tracey Beeden, Head of Safety at Tinder's parent company Match Group, said in a statement: "The early results from these features show us that intervention done the right way can be really meaningful in changing behaviour and building a community where everyone feels like they can be themselves."
The new feature has also been welcomed by anti-sexual violence organisation RAINN. "We're excited to see Tinder continue to innovate on safety," said its President, Scott Berkowitz. "By conveying their expectation for respectful communication, and letting users pause a moment to rethink a message that might offend, Tinder is engaging its community to create a safer platform."
"And by giving users an easy way to flag harassing messages," he added, "this new tool will help Tinder identify – and take action against – those users who are unwilling to act responsibly."
Tinder isn't the only dating app to have clamped down on toxic behaviour. Earlier this year Bumble announced that it has updated its terms and conditions to "explicitly ban unsolicited and derogatory comments made about someone’s appearance, body shape, size, or health".
Research conducted by Bumble found that one in four Brits have experienced some form of body-shaming on dating apps or social media.