Two women have reportedly been suspended from the “hook-up” social networking app Tinder for using their accounts to promote Vermont senator and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.
Haley Lent, a 22-year-old photographer from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, told Reuters that she got locked out of the app on Thursday night. Lent is married, but used Tinder on Wednesday night to convince people to vote for Sanders in the New Hampshire primary. She even bought a premium membership in order to target people in another state.
“I would ask them if they were going to vote in their upcoming primaries,” Lent told Reuters. “If they said no or were on the fence, I would try to talk to them and persuade them to vote.” She said she contacted between 50 and 100 people.
Robyn Gedrich, a 23-year-old assistant retail store manager in Brick, New Jersey, said she sent messages to 60 people per day for the past two weeks, trying to convince them to support Sanders. “Do you feel the bern?” her message read. “Please text WORK to 82623 for me. Thanks.”
Any unlucky guy who texted that number, presumably expecting a date with Gedrich, would instead start receiving updates from the Sanders campaign, along with a helpful link where he could sign up and volunteer. Gedrich told Reuters she has been unable to sign back into Tinder since logging off on Thursday.
Lent and Gedrich are far from the only ones twisting Tinder to their own political devices, however. The Facebook group “Bernie Sanders’ Dank Tinder Convos” had 782 members when Reuters published the story at 4 PM ET on Friday. As of 4:27, it has reached 1,126 members.
Gedrich reported mixed results from the 300 Tinder users who replied to her messages. “Some people would ask what this is for, and I would kind of explain,” she told Reuters. She recalled a few responses reading “Trump2016,” expressing support for Republican frontrunner and real estate tycoon Donald Trump. “It was really alarming to see that a lot of people don’t know what’s going on in the world,” she said, apparently not referring to herself.
— Nikki Mandell (@nikL4urthoughts) February 5, 2016
No matches have yet resulted in a date, she told Reuters.
— Elizabeth N. Brown (@enbrown) February 5, 2016