Celebrity accounts on social media are verified so you know that they're real, so why not use the same logic for online dating?
Thanks to the free app Love Lab, now you can! According to their website, Love Lab is “the only anonymous, peer to peer verification service for the dating industry.”
Tough Love host Steve Ward founded Love Lab as a tool for verifying potential love matches who meet online. He sees the app as the Carfax for the online dating world, and because the app is free, there is really no reason why someone should be opposed to using it. If a potential suitor refuses to verify their online dating identity, that is a really big red-flag and could be a sign they have something to hide.
Urban Dictionary describes a catfish as “someone who pretends to be someone they're not using Facebook or other social media to create false identities, particularly to pursue deceptive online romances.” There are plenty of ways people can mislead others on dating profiles. Some use fake photos, fake names, or withhold criminal information. Safety is a huge concern when meeting a stranger for a date, so it’s reassuring that there can be some accountability before you make plans. So, how does it work? I signed up to see for myself!
Love Lab uses a five-stage verification process to legitimize important personal information and create your own verified profile. Below is a breakdown on the steps and how they verify each.
By authenticating and linking your social media platforms through the app, they verify your social media profiles are really your own.
Love Lab uses native facial recognition software that instantly compares your profile picture to a selfie you have to take through the app.
The app sends a link to your phone number and email address to unlock this step.
By using your legal name, registered address and date of birth, Love Lab is able to create a personalized quiz based on information listed on public records. For mine, they generated three questions about streets I used to live on.
Love Lab combs through public records and commercially available databases to discover potentially derogatory criminal history. The results listed publicly may not be current, complete or accurate, so it only means that those who have successfully completed this proof have no derogatory criminal history detected by Love Lab.
Once you pass all these steps, you reach “Trust Level 5” and will show checkmarks next to all the steps.
Although they use personal information to verify your identity, they don't display any of this private information on your profile; just your first name and age. You can customize your profile from there, adding any information you choose, including your Love Lab ID.
If someone sends their profile with an incomplete 5-step verification, you will know what stages they passed and where they got stuck.
For now, Steve, the app's creator, hopes that folks using dating apps will preemptively share their Love Lab ID or profile link in their dating app profile. The team’s intention is to add value to everyone using an online dating service. It’s only a matter of time before users will want this level of verification upfront. It will not take long for dating companies to take notice of Love Lab’s proprietary technology. As the dating world increasingly relies on online connections, technology like this will provide welcome assurances against suspicious behavior.
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