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Bumble wants to keep you from being catfished, launches new selfie verification tool

Of all the things technology has made simpler, dating doesn’t really appear to be one of them. Being a single guy or gal in the digital age doesn’t seem much better than being one in the Stone Age (life expectancy aside), but one dating app is trying its very best to change that. Not only has Bumble further empowered women participants on its site, it’s now tackling the issue of catfishing, too. (“Catfishing” is the practice of creating a false online identity.)

On Thursday, the popular dating app unveiled Bumble Photo Verification, which promises to “put a much needed end to fake users once and for all.”

The first app in the U.S. to come out with such a tool (though London-based Badoo came out with a similar concept earlier this year), Bumble’s photo verification technology requires users to take a selfie to prove their identity. That way, you’re not in danger of matching with someone who’s using, er, false advertising techniques.

Over the course of the next couple weeks, Bumble will roll out the feature for all users, and from that point on, new swipers will be asked to verify their identity before they start looking for — well, hopefully, love. To do so, you’ll simply have to tap the verify button in your badge, whereupon you’ll be prompted to take a selfie to be verified by Bumble administrators. Once a member of the Bumble team has reviewed your photo (which should happen in a matter of minutes), you’ll receive either confirmation or rejection of your verification.

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If, for some reason, your profile has been reported as duplicitous and your verification is rejected, your profile will be turned off, rendering you undiscoverable. But for most people, this shouldn’t be an issue — you’ll simply receive word of your verification, and proceed as normal.

“The whole process is completely private between you and the moderator,” Bumble founder Whitney Wolfe told Select All. “Your photo will never be posted publicly and won’t be stored.” And ultimately, the point is to “provide the safest possible experience for connecting with people online.”

Concluded Wolfe, “I’d rather have fewer users and be able to provide a safe and true experience for them.”