Are Spam Bots Killing Tinder?

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By Jacob Maslow

Tinder Nope or likeTinder, just in case you are not aware, is one of the hottest mobile apps for finding hookups online. We are talking of random dating. Users only need to swipe a certain way to indicate their attraction to the profile they see. If that other person liked a person who indicated that they liked them, there is a match, and then they can communicate.

Tinder has been blowing up in the United States, and has been quite popular in mass media. In fact, it has gotten so popular that it has established a tremendous user base. It is a free dating app, and more and more Americans are using it to hook up. This is precisely the fertile ground for spammers.

Thanks to its huge user base, more and more spammers are creating fake dating profiles that advertise all sorts of products and services ranging from web cam strip shows to paid adult dating sites. In fact, this form of spamming using automated software called bots is so lucrative that a spammer can make upwards of US$5,000 every single day by simply running fake profiles on Tinder. This should not be a surprise. After all, dating platforms like Craigslist and Yahoo Chat have been infested by spam bots in the years past. It really doesn’t take much of a logical leap for such technology to be applied to the mobile app dating space.

It is interesting to note that Tinder hasn’t really been very proactive in cutting down spam. While it is cutting down obviously fake profiles and obviously fake messaging patterns, it seems quite flat-footed when dealing with more sophisticated bots. The simplest bots are easy to spot. They feature profile pictures of known adult entertainment stars or, put simply, porn stars. But the more sophisticated Tinder spam bots actually use artificial intelligence. These take a wide variety of different feedback from people they are “chatting” with, and use highly sophisticated decision trees to produce responses that mimic those of an actual flesh and blood human being.

It remains to be seen how proactive Tinder would be regarding cutting down on spam. Considering the huge amount of money to be made by spamming Tinder, expect an arms race to develop just like at Craigslist. The more sophisticated Tinder’s spam prevention process becomes, the more sophisticated the spamming technology will be.

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