Business

Tinder lawsuit alleges a horrific story of sexual harassment and sex discrimination (updated)

Above: An alleged text message between Tinder’s former VP of marketing and Tinder's CMO Justin Mateen

Update September 8: Tinder has settled out of court with company cofounder Whitney Wolfe.

Tinder’s former VP of marketing, Whitney Wolfe, has filed a lawsuit against the company for the “sexual harassment and sex discrimination” she says she faced before she was allegedly forced out of the company and stripped of her cofounder status.

The lawsuit, packed with pages of texts documenting numerous incidents, led an IAC spokesperson to “unequivocally condemn these messages,” Reuters reports. IAC is a majority shareholder in Tinder and also owns Vimeo and Match.com.

But, the spokesperson added, IAC “[believes] that Ms. Wolfe’s allegations with respect to Tinder and its management are unfounded.” Tinder’s chief marketing officer Justin Mateen, according to IAC, has been suspended “pending an ongoing internal investigation,” according to Reuters.

Among the claims, the suit alleges that Wolfe was “repeatedly called” a “whore” and was told that she lost her cofounder title “because having a young female cofounder ‘makes the company seem like a joke.'” Tinder and IAC did not immediately respond to VentureBeat’s requests for further comment.

You can view the suit in its painful entirety below. Lawsuit documents via: Matthew Keys.

More information:

Tinder finds out who likes you nearby, and connects you with them if you're also interested. It all started with the realization that there are many apps that connect us with people we already know, but none that do a great job of h... read more »

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69 comments
Aidin Sa
Aidin Sa

Well she should have filed the law suite before sleeping with him not just when she felt the ladder is not going anywhere

Eve Tulbert-Diab
Eve Tulbert-Diab

"Workplace camaraderie taken to an extreme" also applies to the Tailhook scandal. There needs to be a code of professional ethics that respects all women in all work environments. Period.

Ajay Desai
Ajay Desai

Just FYI, Tinder is a ploy to gather massive amounts of facial matchmaking data in order to determine visual appeal and engagement.

Jim Sefton
Jim Sefton

It's nothing to do with NSA or privacy, when it's in a legal case it's called "evidence". If you wanted to give your wife/girlfriend a beating at home would you still expect to hide behind the fact it was "a private beating"?

Joel Reyna
Joel Reyna

Could this issue be a result of workplace comradery taken to an extreme? Don't make assumptions until the investigation is over.

Harleen Sidhu
Harleen Sidhu

Glenn For any human being's sake, I hope you are right and that I am wrong! I use human being, because often people don't understand that women rights are (also) human rights. Also it's very clear that a man, such as the accused in this case will be a horrible father (imagine if he had a girl child) and therefore will only cause more problems for the World and that we don't need. We already have plenty to deal with, as it is. Hence, I hope there are more human beings in the tech sector than entities like Justin Mateen!

Ashley Rae Pittson
Ashley Rae Pittson

Tinder is awful for treating not only an employee this way but a co-founder, no less! I will tell all my friends and hope that they get off this app.

Lane Campbell
Lane Campbell

The whole company is setup to help people sleep together. It seems that it's run by jokers though. Can't believe that match.com got involved with these clowns.

Allen Raulet
Allen Raulet

pretty much, yep... Its not a few bad apples its embedded in the culture. IMO.

Richard Ortega
Richard Ortega

Sorry -- if you sleep with your coworker (and cofounder) you're gonna have a bad time. This isn't blaming anyone, just this looks like a lovers quarrel that got out of hand and went into the workplace, because it started in the workplace.

Richard Ortega
Richard Ortega

So your going to discriminate and classify an entire industry on some bad apples? This happens everywhere, it's not right, but they're shitty people all over this world not just tech.

Richard Ortega
Richard Ortega

A cofounder is like a marriage, you have to find someone that supports you in tough spots and inspires your confidence. I was a terrible cofounder to my buddy (male) and I didn't realize I disrespected him until after. I love working with previous cofounders of failed startups, they know what's up. Because of startups I left marketing to become an engineer so my startup could grow, keep kicking ass too!

Paul Vance
Paul Vance

For the Group that beats the drum for NSA/privacy you sure are ok with reading Private Texts and Posting them online, can you say "HYPOCRITESSSSSS"

Stephany Copeland
Stephany Copeland

If you sleep with your directs you're gonna have a bad time. Don't blame her.

Paul Vance
Paul Vance

you guys just can't handle that I'm right

Benjamin Dirk McWilliams
Benjamin Dirk McWilliams

Did I miss the text where he said that. I just saw someone saying he said that I didn't see the text. Not defending anyone I just didn't actually see evidence in this article but maybe there's a scroll function and it's further down

Bethany D Davis
Bethany D Davis

Women make 90% of the buying decisions. Any company that doesn't want a woman at the helm is already failing.

Moritz Kork
Moritz Kork

Smart choice to out the female co-founder.. Never mind the credibility in the female target group, knowledge on how to address and keep female users, etc. not that it'd be important to have women in a dating app...

Glenn Darwis
Glenn Darwis

That man doesn't represent all the other good men in the tech industry. That's an unfair generalization with no merit or basis in facts.

Steve Koch
Steve Koch

I think this will be a bit more than he said/she said considering there appear to be texts and possible other message exchanges. Based on the little that has been confirmed so far, it already appears likely that her story is legitimate.

Glenn Darwis
Glenn Darwis

Paul Vance STFU and grow up. In this NSA surveillance world NOTHING is private. Jack ass. And it's "they're".

Glenn Darwis
Glenn Darwis

Those of you thinking that the co-founders are sociopathic beta-males acting like 5 year olds...are correct. A real man doesn't talk this way to anyone including females. He respects himself and that transfers to others.

Glenn Darwis
Glenn Darwis

Hope he keeps the douchiness down there too.

Sarah Ilyas
Sarah Ilyas

Osman Nasir YES I HAVE READ IT !!!!!

Nik Myftari
Nik Myftari

She already has a new offer from spotted

Ariadna Jacob
Ariadna Jacob

My cofounder told me the same thing when I started my first company 7years ago. What's sad is how us women listen to them and let them tear down our self esteem. I put up with it because I thought it was important to play in the boys club. Now that I'm a little older I know that being a woman is one of the biggest benefits of having a tech startup. As founder and CEO of influences.com I have also learned to pick my partners carefully and maintain majority and decision making rights. How sad about #tinder.

Allen Raulet
Allen Raulet

wow. why are techies so sexist? Maybe because they've never had real relationships with women aside from the porn they are addicted to?

Aaron Hawryluk
Aaron Hawryluk

Right, because non-American girls are never raped and never get pregnant young. Oh, wait, they do. If you're claiming you "protect your women," you fail.

Aaron Hawryluk
Aaron Hawryluk

It's not "he said, she said," when you have email and texts to back it up. Not to mention public events. Apparently the young'uns still can't understand this... texting isn't speech, neither is email, there are records.

Joe DiNardo
Joe DiNardo

And this is why you don't date people in the workplace.

Justin Mandly
Justin Mandly

Looks like someone is about to win a lawsuit. Regardless of the truth, those text messages are insane. Total stupidity.

Richard Ortega
Richard Ortega

If you sleep with your boss you're gonna have a bad time.

Osman Nasir
Osman Nasir

has any of the Justice league members actualy READ THE CASE DOCUMENT ??? read it first and then comment..

Sarah Ilyas
Sarah Ilyas

Err coz everone had a right to ask for justice !

Osman Nasir
Osman Nasir

forget the lame argument ... have you guys even read the case document ??

Kim Norris
Kim Norris

#Osman Nasir ...In America we attempt to protect everyone in the workplace...even women. Maybe you should learn from our example. Btw...your comment about kids has nothing to do with this issue.