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Could Dating App The Grade Improve Online Dating Behavior?

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Online daters – especially women – often complain about unwanted and lude messages they get from potential matches on dating apps. Some guys are so aggressive with initial contact that they send intimate photos of themselves - the so-called “d*ck pic” - which is offensive to many women, if not even a bit scary. But there is little control dating apps have over messages between two people who swiped right and started communicating, which is why many find it such a frustrating experience.

Dating app The Grade aims to change that. Back in October, they launched the controversial “Peer Review” feature on their dating app, essentially letting other users provide direct feedback for online and offline experiences with other singles on the app.  This move was met with skepticism, with some wondering if angry and jilted matches might lash out and tarnish the reputation of someone else on the site, simply because there was no third party witness. Essentially, users could say whatever they wanted about a date.

The Grade surveyed its users to see how they actually felt about the new feature, and according to the company’s findings, 71% of people believe that Peer Review helps weed out the creeps.

Case in point: the majority of The Grade’s female users believe Peer Review provides a safer and better-informed dating experience. And according to a statement released from the company… it finally eliminates the "d*ck pics." Of the 11% of men who admitted to sending an unsolicited photo of their private parts, 90% reported that they would stop if they knew a match could review them.

Could this lead to better dating behavior – knowing that other people are watching and reviewing you?

It seems likely. The Peer Review feature provides feedback from other singles, mainly to help inform users’ decisions to swipe right or left. In fact, The Grade reports that 78% of singles are more likely to “like” (or swipe right) someone with a good Peer Review grade, while 88% are less likely to “like” someone with a bad Peer Review grade.

Ninety-five percent of The Grade’s users are pro-Peer Review, and 85% of the 15,000 peer reviews submitted so far have been positive. Results show that the most common reason a user would give someone a negative review is if that person was already in an existing relationship or lied about their profile details.

Despite the controversy, The Grade might be on to something – accountability for behavior in online dating. That is something most of us can get behind.