Dating Apps Kick Off Rioters

Amateur investigators are eliciting confessions, then contacting the FBI
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 16, 2021 5:30 PM CST
Amateur Investigators Search Dating Apps for Rioters to Turn In
A line of men wearing helmets and olive drab body armor marches up the marble stairs outside the US Capitol on Jan. 6.   (Robyn Stevens Brody via AP)

Dating apps are conducting their own investigations of the attack on the US Capitol last week, identifying and removing anyone who joined the riot. The apps also are being used by customers as a tool to identify those who were in the mob, the Washington Post reports, with men and women initiating contact with possible rioters on the platforms, then sending photos or confessions to the FBI. Women have changed their locations on the apps to Washington to try to ensnare rioters. A Florida woman spotted a photo on Bumble that looked like it was taken at the riot, and the man answered that his perfect first date would be "Storming the Capitol." She got him to share more photos and say that he'd been to the Capitol; the woman, who called it her "civic duty" to look for rioters, then contacted the FBI. Match Group, the owner of Tinder, Hinge, OkCupid, PlentyofFish and Match, also say it's trying to kick off rioters.

"We have already banned users who have used our platform to spread insurrectionist content or who have attempted to organize and incite terrorism," Bumble said in a statement. The company uses software to scan "text content that promotes the insurrection or related activities," an official said. One woman tweeted that she knows of someone who changed her political idenfication on Bumble to conservative, per the Hill. "She’s matching with MAGA bros and they’re bragging and sending her pics and videos of them in the Capitol," Allison Norris wrote. "She's sending them to the FBI." Bumble temporarily took down its political filter, which drew complaints from amateur investigators, who said the change protects rioters. The filter has been restored after tweaks, Bumble said. (More Capitol riot stories.)

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