You Have To See This Infuriating Reddit Post About Discrimination On Tinder

Photographed by Erin Yamagata.
Anyone who has spent any time on a dating app knows that, sometimes, trying to find potential dates can be frustrating and fruitless. Many of us have been there: Suddenly it's half-past midnight, and you're still swiping through Tinder on an endless loop, wondering how on earth your options could seem so limited. But as one man found out, the truth can be incredibly infuriating — and tinged with discrimination. In a post on Reddit this week, a man described having trouble getting matches on Tinder, despite being "a fairly handsome guy, athletic, confident, and outgoing." "The first thought that came to my mind was: Well, maybe I'm not as good looking as I think I am," he wrote. But after a chat with his roommate, he decided to try an experiment. "Yesterday, I had a conversation with my roommate about this, and he suggested that my Middle-Eastern name might be the reason for fewer matches," he wrote. And sure enough, after changing his name on Tinder from Ahmad to Nick and keeping everything else on his profile the same, his began to see matches pouring in. "I am on the fourth day and have already got 28 matches."
Sadly, racism and harassment on dating apps is nothing new, but this spells out the discrimination more clearly than ever. Tinder's user terms and conditions dictate that "you may not post, upload, display or otherwise make available content that promotes racism, bigotry, hatred or physical harm of any kind against any group or individual." But that kind of behavior can only be reported if someone has actually received a racist message or if someone posts or uploads "content" that is discriminating. In cases such as Ahmad's, casual racism and discrimination can slip through the cracks and go unchecked — after all, it's hard to report racism if the person or people in question aren't even bothering to match with you in the first place, thereby eliminating the possibility of any real proof. Sure, Ahmad has proof in the form of the results of his experiment, but since his findings speak to a problem on a grander scale than direct and/or aggressive user-to-user discrimination, the solution isn't quite so simple. All of this, of course, makes for an awfully frustrating experience that unfortunately can happen easily to people of color. But as one other user commented on the Reddit post, "I personally wouldn't want to be with a person who wouldn't swipe right just because of my name, that's stupid," adding: "It is sad, and that's not fair. I'm sorry."

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