Tinder hacker matches men with men

27 Mar 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

A brilliant Tinder hack made hundreds of bros unwittingly flirt with each other.

The Verge reports that an anonymous California-based programmer devised the Tinder hack after seeing the outrageous messages his female friends received on the dating app.

Like other semi-anonymized digital spaces, Tinder creates a forum for individuals — namely men — to test the limits of aggressive and lewd behavior with seemingly little repercussion. Though he intervened before the users met in real life, he said he was surprised by the hastiness of the guys he pranked. “They ignore all the signs, they ignore all the weird things,” he said. “When someone is so quick to meet up without any detail or know anything about the person at all — maybe it’s deserved.” However, online dating consultant Steve Dean, who runs DatingWorks, told The Huffington Post he isn’t surprised the guys didn’t realize they were talking to men. “If you have no reason to believe that people aren’t who they say they are, guys are more likely to strategically and selectively believe what they think is true,” he said.

It is a bleak landscape: women at the company have reported receiving a range of pick-up lines from the inane (“whats ur favorite beanie baby?”), to the bizarre (“Name a better song than Heartbreaker by the late Maria Carry” [sic]), to the gross and offensive and (“Those lips are so gorgeous that they make me wonder what your other set looks like”). More tech-savvy folks have actually dug into the app to automatically swipe right on every potential match, and then there are all the marketers that are tricking folks into chatting with a brand instead of a human. But over the last few weeks, a California-based computer engineer — we’ll call him Patrick — has pitted heterosexual male against heterosexual male. Patrick’s program identifies two men who “like” one of his bait profiles (the first used prominent vlogger Boxxy’s image; the second used an acquaintance who had given Patrick consent) and matched them to each other. As the Verge notes, safety concerns were sparked in 2013 after it was discovered that a quick hack could trick the app into revealing users’ exact locations.

The suitors’ messages — some aggressive, others mundane, but all of them unabashedly flirtatious — are then relayed, back and forth, to one another through the dummy profile. The anonymous hacker managed to succeed in his venture by pairing male Tinder users and replace their accounts with a couple of female profiles set up by him.

With any luck, the prank — and those glorious screengrabs — will at least prompt the Tinder Brotherhood to consider how it feels to be on the other end of those “flirtatious” lines. Patrick was a Tinder user (in fact, it’s where he met his current girlfriend) and says that female friends of his would often complain about the messages they received on Tinder. “The original idea was to throw that back into the face of the people doing it to see how they would react.” Initially, he set out to build a Twitter bot that tweeted every first message a female friend received, but then he looked into Tinder’s API and found it had little safeguard from more extensive tweaks. “Tinder makes it surprisingly easy to bot their system. As long as you have a Facebook authentication token, you can behave as a robot as if you were a person.” The program made matches within minutes of activation; Patrick estimates he was overseeing 40 conversations within the first 12 hours.

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