The internet this month feels like nothing but a great big shouting match between the Bernie Bros and the Hillary Stans, a furious, overheated debate among people who basically agree about most issues. It’s even spilled over into the world of online dating, where Tinder has started banning users who were feeling the Bern a little too enthusiastically.
Two women, who’d sent pro–Bernie Sanders messages to hundreds of men between them, told Reuters they’d had their accounts deactivated. Robyn Gedrich, 23, said she sent this campaign message to 60 men a day for two weeks: "’Do you feel the bern?’ her message to other Tinder users read, parroting a Sanders campaign slogan, ‘Please text WORK to 82623 for me. Thanks.’"
Sending that text message signs you up for Sanders’s campaign updates. Tinder shut Gedrich down on Thursday. She said that none of her matches ended in a date. Obviously.
Haley Lent, who is 22 and married, also wasn’t on Tinder seeking love and hookups. She told Reuters she contacted 50 to 100 people on the app, trying to convince people to vote for Sanders in their states’ primaries.
“If they said no or were on the fence, I would try to talk to them and persuade them to vote,” she said.
Lent, who lives in Iowa, even paid for Tinder Plus so she could change her location to New Hampshire, the site of the next Democratic primary and a crucial state for the Sanders campaign.
Tinder hasn’t commented, but it’s probably safe to assume the women’s accounts were shut down automatically after too many people reported them as spam.
Aside from Bernie Babes acting like Bernie Bots, there’s apparently been a lot of casual Tinder chat about Sanders. There’s an entire Facebook group dedicated to “Bernie Sanders’ Dank Tinder Conversations,” featuring tons of screenshots of people asking their matches whether they’ve accepted “our lord and savior, Bernie Sanders.”
I guess you could call it a kind of “ideological purity test” for potential hookups.
There’s almost a year left in this election, during which people will saturate our every online interaction with their Strong Political Opinions. Even on Tinder! It’s important, but it’s also exhausting. I hope that, at the very least, someone is getting laid as part of the deal.