The British campaigners who created a Tinder chatbot to help persuade young people in swing seats to vote for Labour in this year’s UK general election have written an op-ed for The New York Times.
Titled “How Tinder Could Take Back the White House”, it sees Yara Rodrigues Fowler and Charlotte Goodman speak about the process of creating the bot, and the results they got.
As we wrote earlier this month, the chatbot targeted 18-25-year-olds in constituencies where the youth vote might affect the outcome in the general election, and persuaded them to vote tactically to help the Labour Party.
To do this, they “borrowed” the Tinder profiles of 150 willing people they recruited from Facebook and Twitter, the bot taking control of their profiles for two hours, fooling Tinder into thinking the profiles were in geographic locations where the vote was close.
Speaking about their experiences, the campaigns said: “Tinder is too casual a platform for users to feel hoodwinked by some political conversation. By and large, users surprised us with their receptiveness.
“Some people who received bot messages asked how they could join us. Our inboxes were flooded. The number of profiles lent to us in just two evenings was incredible — we needed a 10-person team to process sign ups. We knew we were a part of something big.”
Read the article here.