Match Group, the parent company of dating apps Tinder, Hinge, and The League, was sued this week by six plaintiffs who hope to build a class action against the company for “ruining love” and intentionally addicting users to their platforms.

The plaintiffs, hailing variously from California, New York, Florida, and Georgia, claim that Match Group engages in a “predatory” business model that exploits those seeking love and incentivizes “compulsive use.” It also criticizes them for charging customers large subscription fees. The suit formally accuses Match of negligence and violating consumer protection laws in a number of states, and seeks an undetermined amount in damages for all users of the apps that have paid for them in recent years.

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The suit specifically alleges Tinder and the other apps have features “to gamify the platforms to transform users into gamblers locked in a search for psychological rewards that Match makes elusive on purpose,” according to the complaint text. It claims these features directly go against Match’s slogan, that its products are “designed to be deleted,” and therefore constitute false advertising.

As evidence of their claims, the plaintiffs point to the fact that users can like an unlimited number of profiles, which contributes to “ghosting” or “breadcrumbing” where relationships on the app fizzle out.

The app functions like “a game, leading to addiction, and the loneliness, anxiety, and depression that come with it,” said legal representative Ryan Clarkson.

Match has responded to the claims, rejecting them outright:

“This lawsuit is ridiculous and has zero merit… Our business model is not based on advertising or engagement metrics. We actively strive to get people on dates every day and off our apps. Anyone who states anything else doesn’t understand the purpose and mission of our entire industry.”

Shane Devine is a writer covering politics, economics, and culture for Valuetainment. Follow Shane on X (Twitter).

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