I've talked with folks who feel Googling a person before going out with them is unfair and deprives someone the opportunity to tell their own story.
There's some merit to that argument, but I would counter that safety trumps all else.
First, there's no fault to be leveled at anyone who didn't think to check the sex offender registry before grabbing drinks.
Second, not everyone with a criminal record deserves a stain forever -- people and the lives they lead are messy and complicated.
Still, daters do tell stories of being harmed by potential partners they met online, and these accounts can be blood-curdling -- a worst-case scenario when you're hopefully flipping through endless photos of smiling people on vacation, hanging out with friends and holding up large, lifeless fish.
It's also an unfortunate reminder you can't always rely on your favorite services to have your back.
But do not let fear keep you from pursuing relationships.
The FBI also has corralled individual state sex offender registries as well.
CNET also has a guide to not getting catfished, offering such tips as setting up a phone call in advance of a date, doing a reverse image search of profile photos to make sure they weren't stolen from someone else, and keeping an eye out for other warning signs, like requests for money or an unwillingness to meet in person.
If you meet someone at a bar, you should probably check them out, too. I've found everything from arrest records to dudes who were clearly still married, and I'm glad I figured that out before investing much more than a few lines of banter.
Fourth, yeah, dating apps should probably do a better job with their users' safety. If you manage to suss out a last name (you might need to get creative with your Googling) and feel the need to dig deeper, there's the National Sex Offender Public Website, where you can search by name and location.