Legal

China Cracks Down On Romance Fraud, Arrests More Than 1000 Scammers

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Chinese dating scammers are in hot water this summer. More than a thousand members of fraud rings have been arrested in the country over the last two months, potentially saving thousands of singles from falling victim to their deceit.

In June, police in the southern province of Guangdong cracked down on 13 gangs who posed as attractive women in order to con men into purchasing pricey products like tea and wine. Authorities apprehended a total of 1,310 suspects, each of whom could approach up to 1,500 victims per month.

“These scam gangs [succeed] because they capture the psychology of many men: When facing beautiful women, men lose their judgement, and feel too shy to refuse,” a Guangdong police officer said at a briefing about the arrests.

Asian Man Threatens Class Action Lawsuit Against Grindr For Racial Discrimination

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Laotian-born Sinakhone Keodara was browsing Grindr when he stumbled upon a profile with a succinct description: “Not interested in Asians.”

It wasn’t the first time he encountered discriminatory language on the app, nor was it a surprise to the Asian American friend he later phoned about it. Both had repeatedly experienced racism while using dating services. This time, they decided to do something about it.

Keodara took to social media to announce plans to bring a class-action lawsuit against Grindr for racial discrimination, calling for co-plaintiffs across the United States to join the fight.

Match Group Buys Rival Dating App Hinge

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This week, Match Group announced it has acquired dating app Hinge. According to the press release, the deal gives Match Group a 51 percent stake in the company. Match first started buying shares in Sept of 2017 and has the option to buy remaining shares of Hinge within the next year.

Hinge has spent the last few years revamping its image and features, creating an app that countered Tinder’s hook-up reputation, and aimed to create a space for more serious daters. This included dumping its initial Tinder-like swiping feature and allowing clients to build profiles more like traditional online dating sites. Interestingly, Match Group (which owns Tinder) initially invested in Hinge in the fall of 2017, soon after it debuted its new design.

Hinge is most popular among “urban, educated millennial women looking for relationships,” according to Match Group CEO Mandy Ginsberg. It has also grown its user base to “five times what it was a year ago,” according to an article in The Wall Street Journal, making it an attractive purchase for Match Group.

Facebook Engineer Fired for Creepy Tinder Messages

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A Facebook engineer was fired for exploiting his position and access to personal information of Facebook users, according to website Tech Crunch. It’s reported that the firing resulted after the engineer’s messages with a match on Tinder were shared with company executives.

Over Twitter, Spyglass Security Founder Jackie Stokes revealed that someone she knew received “creepy messages” over Tinder, and she had confirmed it was an engineer employed by Facebook.

Stokes then posted a screenshot of the offender’s message, where he called himself a “professional stalker” and claimed to have access to the user’s personal data. He also shared private information about the user via their messages, information that she hadn’t shared publicly on social media.

Bumble Suing Match Group for $400 Million

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Bumble has filed a $400 million lawsuit against Match Group, the parent company of popular dating apps such as Tinder, OkCupid, and Match. Bumble accused Match Group of interfering with its business operations, including stealing trade secrets and hurting the company’s chance to sell equity investments, according to reports from CNN Tech and Recode.

The Bumble lawsuit follows a previous lawsuit filed by Match Group against Bumble two weeks prior. Match Group accused the female-friendly dating app of patent infringement, specifically in regard to its swiping technology, stating that it is virtually identical to Tinder.

Bumble initially responded to the lawsuit with a post on its website, stating: “We swipe left on your attempted scare tactics, and on these endless games. We swipe left on your assumption that a baseless lawsuit would intimidate us. Given your enduring interest in our company, we expected you to know us a bit better by now.”

Bumble Swipes Left On Match Group Lawsuit With Defiant Full Page Ad

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The relationship between Bumble and Tinder took a toxic turn last month when Match Group, Tinder’s parent company, filed a patent infringement lawsuit against its female-friendly competitor.

The suit, filed in Texas on March 16, accuses Bumble of copying key elements of Tinder’s functionality and alleges that trade secrets were stolen by Bumble employees who previously worked at Tinder. Whitney Wolfe Herd, Bumble’s founder and CEO, was herself a Tinder executive before filing a sexual harassment lawsuit against the company in 2014 and leaving to start her own venture.

Herd was initially silent when news of the Match Group lawsuit broke, but has since responded in grand, defiant fashion with a full page ad in the New York Times as well on their blog.