-- Are you a creep? You wouldn't make the grade. A wallflower? You might fail, too.
A new iPhone dating app claims to be the first of its kind to punish users who misbehave or seem more like spectators than real-world daters.
“My female friends were receiving anything from graphic images to downright hostile comments for absolutely no reason,” said Cliff Lerner, CEO of the company behind The Grade. “I thought to myself, there’s got to be a way to build a product where users are accountable for their actions.”
The Grade, which launched Monday, allows a user to swipe to "like" a profile. If you find a match, then you can start messaging.
The difference from the competition, Lerner said, is that users' interactions are monitored so the site can assess grades.
“We use a sophisticated algorithm that scans messages for inappropriate content,” Lerner said. “Users are then graded based on popularity, compelling messages and frequency of response.”
Grades are visible to all users. Daters with D grades receive warnings. Daters with Fs can be booted from the app altogether. New users get a grade of pending until a profile is created and they become active.
Those with poor grades have one to two weeks to improve their performance. Otherwise, the profile is removed and the user can appeal to the app operators.
“We believe we are the first to ever offer this function,” Lerner said. “Our ultimate goal is to create a community of high-quality, articulate daters. We’re committed to expelling low-quality users, not just because someone is offensive, but based on how responsive they are to others.”
Frequent dating app user Christiana Padovano, 22, of New York City, said she's willing to give it a try.
“When I go on, I’m looking to meet a decent person -- someone that I can have a good time with,” she said.
In the past, prospective daters have bombarded Padovano with inappropriate sexual comments, to the point where she decided to unplug for a while.
“I deleted my app for three months because I couldn’t deal with the obnoxious messages anymore,” said Padovano. "Now, you’ll find out beforehand so you won’t waste your time.”