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Was the Tinder meltdown over Vanity Fair’s article a planned publicity stunt?

tinda finger
It was the article that launched a thousand tweets, the piece heard around the Twitterverse, the post that … well, you get the point.

A Vanity Fair article, titled “Tinder and the Dawn of the ‘Dating Apocalypse,” has drawn the extremely public – and some say, juvenile – wrath of the dating app, prompting a very prolific series of tweets on Tuesday evening that targeted journalist Nancy Jo Sales for what the Tinder team called an “incredibly biased view.” In 31 tweets, Tinder managed to point out the size of its user base (8 billion connections have been made to date, apparently), highlight the app’s alignment with marriage equality, and emphasize its global reach (hi, China and North Korea). And if this all seems a little too preplanned to be a spontaneous, organic display of frustration with “one-sided journalism,” that may be because it was.

According to a tweet from BuzzFeed reporter Claudia Koerner, the entire maelstrom appeared to be a premeditated effort engineered by a PR team. As AdWeek reported, Koerner claims that PR firm Rogers & Cowan allegedly said “they worked with Tinder and to keep an eye on the brand [sic] Twitter account — they’d be firing back at the Vanity Fair article.” While Tinder has not yet addressed these claims, they’re still standing by their angry tirade, which has been described as “bizarre,” “defensive,” and “like a letter from a scorned lover.”

In a statement to Wired, the dating app admitted that it overreacted, but maintained its legitimacy, saying, “We have a passionate team that truly believes in Tinder. While reading a recent Vanity Fair article about today’s dating culture, we were saddened to see that the article didn’t touch upon the positive experiences that the majority of our users encounter daily. Our intention was to highlight the many statistics and amazing stories that are sometimes left unpublished, and, in doing so, we overreacted.”

Of course, manufactured or not, Tinder’s blow-up was still pretty hilarious. Even more hilarious, perhaps, than some of the worst Tinder pickup lines I’ve received.

So tweet on, Tinder. And keep making connections.

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Lulu Chang
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