Campaigning while swiping—evidently, a recipe for disaster. A few Bernie Sanders supporters were burned after using the dating app for reasons other than meeting hot, new singles, according to a report from Reuters published on Friday.
There were two culprits, Reuters reports, as far as we know: Haley Lent, a 22-year-old photographer from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and 23-year-old Robyn Gedrich, a store manager from Brick, New Jersey. These young and ambitious women "took to Tinder," as they say, to spam their matches with pro-Bernie content. Reuters reports:
Lent, who is married, said she talked to 50 to 100 people on the app. She had even bought a Tinder premium membership, which allows users to change their location, for a month so that she could reach people in New Hampshire and promote Sanders.
"I would ask them if they were going to vote in their upcoming primaries," she said. "If they said no or were on the fence, I would try to talk to them and persuade them to vote."
Gedrich, for her part, sent her 60 matches per day the same phrase over and over: "Do you feel the Bern? Please text WORK to 82623 for me. Thanks." She also gave Buzzfeed a reasonable justification for her practices:
“These guys are disgusting. They’re just looking for sex and that’s it,” she told BuzzFeed News. “So if they’re going to swipe right, they might as well do some good and donate to the man, the myth, the legend, Bernie.”
Gedrich and Lent both got booted out on Thursday, and told Reuters that Tinder notified them that it was because they'd received too many complaints about their Sanders shilling.
As Reuters points out, these efforts are part of an organizational effort by the Facebook group titled "Bernie Sanders Dank Tinder Convos," which you can peruse at your own enjoyment. Some sample dank convos:
Looks like it's working.
Michael Rosen is a reporter for Fusion based out of Oakland.