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Photo: Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Democratic members of the House Energy & Commerce Committee are urging dating sites to more thoroughly check users against sex offender registries, raising the possibility of legislation that would force them to do so.

Why it matters: Match Group, which includes Tinder, Hinge and OKCupid, is under fire from lawmakers after a report revealed the company doesn't screen for sex offenders on its free platforms.

Driving the news: The letter Thursday, led by Rep. Annie Kuster (D-NH), said the failure to cross check all user responses who certify they are not sex offenders with registries is "deeply concerning."

  • Match checks paid subscribers against state sex offender lists, but doesn't do so for its free services, according to the report from ProPublica, Buzzfeed and Columbia Journalism Investigations.
  • The lawmakers note that the checks will not be accurate in all circumstances, but may still discourage some sex offenders from using the sites.
  • "We urge you to begin conducting these checks immediately," the lawmakers, including E&C consumer protection subcommittee chairwoman Jan Schakowsky, wrote. "Your company’s failure to take this step is putting users at risk."

The big picture: The Democrats' letter comes after a House Oversight subcommittee launched an investigation in January into underage use of dating applications and the lack of screening of potential sex offenders.

  • The E&C Democrats raise the specter of legislation in their letter to Match, noting that "the decision your company takes to proactively conduct checks" is important for "informing our legislative efforts."

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  2. Politics: States beg for Warp Speed billions.
  3. World: Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases.
  4. 🎧Podcast: The vaccine race turns toward nationalism.

Technical glitch in Facebook's ad tools creates political firestorm

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Photo: SOPA Images / Contributor

Facebook said late Thursday that a mix of "technical problems" and confusion among advertisers around its new political ad ban rules caused issues affecting ad campaigns of both parties.

Why it matters: A report out Thursday morning suggested the ad tools were causing campaign ads, even those that adhered to Facebook's new rules, to be paused. Very quickly, political campaigners began asserting the tech giant was enforcing policies in a way that was biased against their campaigns.

5 hours ago - Health

States beg for Warp Speed billions

A COVID-19 drive-thru testing center yesterday at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens. Photo: David Santiago/Miami Herald via AP

Operation Warp Speed has an Achilles' heel: States need billions to distribute vaccines — and many say they don't have the cash.

Why it matters: The first emergency use authorization could come as soon as next month, but vaccines require funding for workers, shipping and handling, and for reserving spaces for vaccination sites.