Swipe Right on Addiction? Lawsuit Claims Dating Apps Feed User Obsession

The Allegations: Fostering Compulsive Swiping of Dating Apps

A new class-action lawsuit filed on Valentine’s Day in California alleges that dating apps like Tinder and Hinge, owned by Match Group, are intentionally designed to be addictive. The plaintiffs claim that these apps employ various tactics to “gamify dating” and “monopolize users’ attention,” driving users into a perpetual cycle of compulsive swiping and engagement.

The Addictive Design

Dopamine-Manipulating Features

According to the lawsuit, Match Group’s dating apps utilize “recognized dopamine-manipulating product features” to turn users into “gamblers locked in a search for psychological rewards that Match makes elusive on purpose.” These features are designed to create a never-ending loop of swiping, matching, and engaging with the apps, fostering addiction and compulsive use.

Tinder :  Lawsuit Claims Dating Apps Feed User Obsession

Some of the alleged addictive tactics include:

  • Endless swiping: The ability to swipe through an infinite number of potential matches, creating a continuous search for the “next best thing.”
  • Gamification: Features like “Super Likes” and “Boosts” that add a competitive element to the dating experience, encouraging users to unlock more options through paid subscriptions.
  • Dopamine hits: Notifications and match alerts that provide a rush of excitement and compel users to continuously check the app for new matches.

Prioritizing Profit over Purpose

The lawsuit claims that Match Group’s business model relies on generating revenue by “monopolizing users’ attention” and driving them towards expensive subscriptions. The plaintiffs argue that this approach contradicts the apps’ alleged purpose of helping users find meaningful connections and form relationships.

One example cited is Hinge’s “designed to be deleted” tagline, which the lawsuit calls “false advertising.” The plaintiffs assert that the app’s stakeholders have no intention of designing a platform that encourages users to delete it after finding a relationship.

Tinder :  Lawsuit Claims Dating Apps Feed User Obsession

The Consequences: Fostering Addiction

Compulsive Use and Perpetual Loops

The lawsuit alleges that the addictive features employed by Match Group’s dating apps turn users into “addicts” who purchase increasingly expensive subscriptions to access special features that promise better matches and a higher potential for finding a relationship.

This cycle of compulsive use and perpetual engagement is at odds with the apps’ purported goal of helping users form connections and leave the platforms, the plaintiffs argue.

Mental Health Implications

While the lawsuit does not explicitly address the mental health consequences of dating app addiction, research has shown that excessive use of these platforms can lead to decreased self-esteem, increased anxiety, and a distorted perception of social norms.

Tinder :  Lawsuit Claims Dating Apps Feed User Obsession

As with any technology designed to capture and sustain user attention, there is a risk of fostering unhealthy obsessions and compulsive behaviors that can negatively impact users’ well-being.

Seeking Justice: The Lawsuit’s Demands

The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages for people who used paid versions of Tinder, Hinge, and other Match Group apps in the last four years. Additionally, it demands that Hinge remove its “designed to be deleted” slogan and that all Match Group dating apps include warning language about the risks of addiction.


Q. What dating apps are included in the lawsuit? 

The lawsuit targets dating apps owned by Match Group, including Tinder, Hinge, Match.com, OkCupid, Plenty of Fish, and others.

Q. What are the main allegations against Match Group’s dating apps?

 The lawsuit alleges that these apps are designed with addictive features to encourage compulsive use, fostering addiction and driving users towards expensive subscriptions.

Q. What kinds of addictive features are mentioned in the lawsuit?

 The lawsuit cites features like endless swiping, gamification elements, and dopamine-triggering notifications as examples of tactics used to keep users engaged and addicted.

Q. Why is Hinge’s “designed to be deleted” tagline considered false advertising? 

The lawsuit claims that Hinge’s stakeholders have no intention of designing an app that encourages users to delete it after finding a relationship, contradicting the app’s tagline.

Q. What does the lawsuit seek to achieve?

 The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages for users of paid Match Group dating app subscriptions within the last four years. It also demands warning language about addiction risks and the removal of Hinge’s “designed to be deleted” slogan.

Q. Are there any known mental health implications of dating app addiction? 

While not explicitly mentioned in the lawsuit, research has shown that excessive use of dating apps can lead to decreased self-esteem, increased anxiety, and a distorted perception of social norms.

Q. How has Match Group responded to the lawsuit? Match Group has called the lawsuit “ridiculous” and meritless, stating that their business model is not based on advertising or engagement metrics but on actively striving to help users go on dates and form relationships.

Tinder :  Lawsuit Claims Dating Apps Feed User Obsession


The class-action lawsuit against Match Group’s dating apps has brought to light concerning allegations about the intentional design of addictive features to foster compulsive use and drive subscription revenue. While the legal proceedings will determine the validity of these claims, the conversation raises important questions about the ethical responsibilities of technology companies and the potential consequences of prioritizing user engagement over user well-being.


The information provided in this blog post is based on the allegations and claims made in the class-action lawsuit against Match Group. USA Wini Media does not make any independent claims or assertions regarding the legality or ethics of Match Group’s business practices or the design of their dating apps. We encourage our readers to form their own opinions based on the available information and to consult with legal and mental health professionals for expert guidance on these matters.

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