Tinder may be associated with hookups and superficial sex, that could change.
In fact, using data culled from the recent British election, the New York Times found that the app's user base is actually pretty open to talking about politics (something that is rarely discussed at bars and happy hours, the app's natural habitat). The Times set up a chatbot using volunteers' profiles and found that many of the prospective daters were actually willing to learn more about the British election and the issues involved during the days leading up to the election.
The Times set up a bot on the app aimed at reaching voters aged 18 to 25. During the experiment, the bot swiped yes on every user, and when a match was made, the program would automatically generate a conversation that touched on the election and ask the match about who they planned to vote for. In this case, if the match planned on voting for the Labour Party, he or she got directions to the nearest polling place. For other progressive parties, the bot would send ideas on "tactical" votes to beat the Tories. And for anyone voting for more conservative options, the bot would relay critiques on the policies.
The volunteers that loaned their profiles out for the experiment could stop the bot and speak to the match at any time, and the Times found that they often did. The volunteers actually spent hours trying to convince their would-be matches to vote a certain way and the Times realised that it had mobilised a huge number of people using a platform nobody had considered.
This means that Tinder could make a huge difference in upcoming U.S. elections. The Times notes that the app is a place where people are comfortable sharing just about anything, so the taboo of talking about politics doesn't seem to exist. If Britain's young voters were enthusiastic enough to take over political debates from a chatty robot, there's no telling how powerful the platform could be for American voters looking to make a change.
Plus, doing it all from an app means that people have access to canvassing and campaigning all the time. No flyers, no mailers, no phone calls — it's all using using an app that people would be on already. Who knows, maybe swiping will be the new voting come 2020. The Times thinks that it's the beginning of a revolution, saying, "If you get together and get organised, you can win."
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