“Feel the Bern” — it’s a slogan that has become closely associated with Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign, and one you’d expect to see on yard signs and social media outlets.
But what about when you’re up late swiping away on Tinder? That’s right, there’s a real chance you might see Sanders’ slogan being thrown around on the popular hookup app as well.
Tinder campaigning is a thing now, apparently, and while it’s unclear how many people are doing it, the movement seems to be spearheaded by people who do not have any clear connection to the official Sanders campaign. There’s also a Facebook group, where users post screenshots of conversations they have with matches on Tinder — some of which are agreeable to the cause, and others that are mostly trying to veer the conversation to Tinder’s intended use.
Robyn Gedrich, a 23-year-old assistant store manager in New Jersey, is one of Sanders’ devoted Tinder campaigners, and has been spreading the word to all her matches. She told Digital Trends she picked Tinder because it felt more personal than Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr.
“With Tinder, it connects you to another person and they’re looking to talk, they’re looking to meet you,” Gedrich said. “And granted, they may be looking to meet you for other reasons, but it’s not specifically stated that that’s what I’m looking for, so that’s why I find it to be the platform that I can campaign more on.”
“We whole-heartedly support people sharing their political views on Tinder, but we don’t allow spamming.”
Gedrich actually started Tinder campaigning two weeks ago, and has messaged about 600 to 700 matches to date. “Do you feel the Bern? Please text WORK to 82623 for me. Thanks!” is one of the romantic phrases Gedrich used to hook people to the campaign. She didn’t hear about other people using Tinder to campaign, or about the other sites like tindcamp.tumblr.com or the Facebook Group “Bernie Sanders’ Dank Tinder Con…” until recently.
It’s understandable that a lot of users might get annoyed and flag these sorts of messages as spam. And to Gedrich’s dismay, Tinder has locked her out of the app due to multiple users reporting her as a spammer. Reuters separately confirmed that another woman in Iowa also found herself locked out of her Tinder account. Tinder wasn’t silent on the matter.
“We wholeheartedly support people sharing their political views on Tinder, but we don’t allow spamming. So feel free to spread the Bern, just don’t spam,” Rosette Pambakian, vice president of Global Communications & Branding at Tinder, told Digital Trends.
Gedrich says while she understands how some people can find her messages to be spammy, she is indeed looking to find people to have political conversations with, and maybe even date. She has been unlucky so far on the latter point.
“Maybe I could have been a little more personal in the way that I would approach it, but now that I’ve done it that many times and I’ve kind of learned from that, if I do get to go back on I would do a more personal approach rather than just saying, “Hey text this number, sign up for Bernie Sanders,” she said.
Kelsi “Bee,” a college student in Chicago, launched the “Bernie Sanders’ Dank Tinder Con…” Facebook group. She didn’t want to give out her last name. Kelsi said her support for the Vermont senator is listed in her bio, and she only uses Tinder to campaign for him.
We have reached out to Sen. Sanders’ campaign for comment about his growing support on Tinder, and will update when the campaign responds. In the meantime, Gedrich says she hopes Tinder reverses the block.
“If not, tomorrow I’m off and I just might make another Facebook, and make another Tinder account,” she said.