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Snack dating app accused of discriminating against singles over 35

The dating app told a 37-year-old California man he was "past our sell-by date" when he tried to sign up.

LOS ANGELES (CN) — A class of romance seekers sued Meet Muse Media, the owner of "not your parents dating app" Snack, accusing the company of age discrimination because it won't allow singles older than 35 to sign up.

A 37-year-old California man sued the Canadian company Friday in San Diego federal court claiming Snack violates the California Unruh Civil Rights Act, which prohibits businesses from discriminating against customers based on their race, sex, religion and other protected categories.

Plaintiff Geoffrey Taylor of Bakersfield says he tried to sign up with Snack last month, but when he had entered his personal information, including his age, he got a screen that said "100% of snack are under 35" and "looks like you're past our sell-by date." He now wants to represent all Californians who were denied access to Snack because of their age in a class action and seeks $4,000 in statutory damages per violation of the state's anti-discrimination law.

Representatives of Snack didn't immediately respond to a request for comment on the lawsuit.

Snack, launched in February 2021, has been described as at the TikTok for dating, aimed at younger singles to connect by way of videos instead of the profiles with still pictures on more traditional dating sites.

The CEO of Snack, Kim Kaplan, has stated that the purpose of watching the videos on Snack forces users to be more intentional about the decisions they are making as opposed to the “low intent” of swiping on a photo like they would on Tinder or Match, according to Taylor's complaint.

Tinder, perhaps the best known dating app, found itself in trouble in California as well for purported age discrimination when it was charging older users more for its premium services. The Ninth Circuit initially tossed Tinder's settlement of the California discrimination claims, finding the judge who approved it underrated the strength of the plaintiff's case, overstated the value of the settlement and overlooked the suggestions of collusion.

In that case, the settlement in federal court was fought by two plaintiffs in a separate state-court discrimination lawsuit against Tinder, which had been pending before the federal case was filed. The plaintiffs argued the dating app offered "too paltry a cash payout" and so-called Super Likes that premium subscribers didn't need as well as subscriptions that former subscribers didn't want.

This year, the same federal judge approved a revised settlement between Tinder and the plaintiffs, and it has been appealed again by the same state-court objectors.

Claims in the Snack lawsuit include arbitrary age discrimination, and Taylor seeks class certification as well as the $4,000 per violation of California's Unruh Act.

He is represented Joshua B. Swigart of the Swigart Law Group in San Diego and the Law Office of Daniel G. Shay in San Diego.

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