Is there anything worse than going on a date with someone who turns out to be either a total jerk or creepy AF? Sometimes the experience is so bad that you wish you could warn others about this person, so they don't have to go through the same awfulness as you. Unfortunately, there hasn't really been a convenient way to do this — until now. Dating app The Grade is introducing a new feature on October 8 called Peer Review that will allow you to leave feedback about other users, so in the future we can all avoid the worst of the worst online dates.
The Grade is an accountability-focused dating app that aims to eradicate the culture of rudeness and creepiness that seems to plague online dating. Unfortunately, if people have no real consequences for their bad behavior, they think they can say and do anything they want online, hence the terrible opening messages people often get. Aside from The Grade's other pursuits — like improving message quality and helping you find your best photo — the Peer Review feature is the latest development to help us have a better online dating experience.
"The goal of The Grade continues to be transparency of user behavior in determining who is a quality person," Cliff Lerner, CEO of The Grade, tells Bustle. "In this, we do not provide a platform for gossip. Open-ended reviews are not an option on The Grade, and no negative user comments are shown on their profile"
The idea for the feature came from the truth that many millennials are review-obsessed, using sites like Yelp to make sure they fully know what they're getting into, lest they waste precious money on a restaurant, bar, or nail salon with bad service. There's no shame in wanting quality assurance, and online dating is no exception to this rule: Even if you spend weeks messaging on Tinder, you never know what you're going to get IRL, but it sure would be nice if you could avoid a cringeworthy, uncomfortable, or even unsafe first date situation.
Let's say you go on a date, and the guy or girl is being way too touchy-feely or completely inappropriate. Naturally, you would want others to be aware of the potential risks of going out with this person. Using Peer Review, you answer one simple question — “Is this user a quality person?” — and then select from pre-populated hashtags to describe that person, such as #ArmCandy or #MasterChef. You also have to say what your relationship is to that person: Friend, Ex, Family, Met on The Grade, etc. (To account for possible bias, some peer reviews will be weighed stronger than others.)
Based on the feedback, users are assigned a Peer Review grade, which will then be factored into the overall grade that you get via the app. As always, users with a cumulative grade of “F” — which could indicate things like an incomplete profile, inappropriate messages, or unresponsiveness — will receive a warning and ultimately be expelled from the app.
Here are three other ways dating apps try to do some quality control, because online dating should feel like a safe space.
1. Hinge Reveals Your Relationship Status
There's nothing more enraging than hitting it off with someone only to find out later that you're actually a sidepiece. Though this is (hopefully) not super common, Hinge found a way to expose people who are potentially deceitful: Since the app connects to your Facebook, it now includes your relationship status on your Hinge profile.
2. Tinder Lets You Hide People's Moments
I can't tell you how many times I've been swiping through Tinder Moments, only to come face-to-face with a disturbingly abrasive dick pic. In addition to reporting the photo, unmatching or blocking the person, Tinder gives you the option to "hide" a person's moments, so you can weed out anyone who is being offensive (or just plain boring).
3. Bumble Only Lets Women Message First
Not that it's always the men who are creepy, but the sentiment behind Bumble is nice: Women, who are so often barraged with rude and creepy comments, are able to take control, and must make the first move in order to have a conversation line open up with a match. Although that doesn't stop people from saying weird or offensive things after the fact, it's one app's solution to getting rid of online dating duds. Plus, Bumble’s new “VIBee" status, good guys who "“Bumble thoughtfully” will receive the recognition they deserve.
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