Jerks 'Reporting' Women Who Swipe Left On Them In Tinder, Once Again Highlighting How Content Moderation Gets Abused
from the always-another-thing dept
We keep trying to highlight (over and over and over again) how content moderation at scale is impossible to do well for a variety of reasons — and one big one is the fact that assholes and trolls will game whatever system you put in place — often in truly absurd ways. The latest example of this is that guys who are pissed off about women who reject them after meeting through Tinder are “reporting” the women in the app, trying to get their accounts shut down.
I had been banned from Tinder. It turns out, though, I?m far from the only woman to have been kicked off the app for no other reason than I rejected the wrong guy. Indeed, without the need for any apparent proof of wrongdoing, a new breed of scorned men have stumbled upon a particularly passive-aggressive way to say, ?If I can?t have her, no one can? ? tapping the report button.
Case in point: Last year, 33-year-old Amy declined to go out with a man she?d been messaging with when he started insulting her. The insults, of course, only intensified from there ? with him telling her she was shaped like Slimer from Ghostbusters and that her fertility was declining. Stunned, she put her phone away. After taking a moment, she went to block him, but when she opened Tinder, her account had been banned.
Of course, as some of the article highlights, Tinder itself seems woefully (ridiculously) unprepared to deal with even the most basic instances of this kind of abuse. Tinder apparently bans accounts based on a single report and the company states that it does “not offer an appeals process at this time.” The article highlights a bunch of tweets from women who all seem to have gone through a similar experience. They met a dude on Twitter, date doesn’t go well, she says she’d rather not go on another date… the guy flips out, acts like an asshole, and minutes later, she’s banned from the app.
The author of the article, who herself was banned from Tinder right after such an experience, found a guy who admitted to doing this.
I did, though, find one man ? 26-year-old Brian ? who admitted to reporting women who were unresponsive to his messages. ?I?ve done this,? he confides. ?It?s a huge waste of time for girls to match with you and then not reply. Like what?s the point??
He then goes on to spout a bunch of misogynistic nonsense, apparently believing that women do this on purpose to be mean to men like him, which apparently is what he needs to convince himself that getting their accounts shut down okay.
Of course, what’s left out of this discussion is a bit of the flipside. You can kind of understand why Tinder is so aggressive in banning people, because if people actually are violating its rules, the consequences could be a lot more serious, especially given that the entire point of the app is to get people to meet up in real life. If they mess that up, there will be all sorts of bad press about how Tinder failed to take down an account or something. Hell, as we’ve detailed, Grindr effectively got sued over this exact scenario and the plaintiff in that case recently asked the Supreme Court to hear his appeal.
That’s not to say the companies can’t do a better job — they can. Having an appeals process seems like a no-brainer. But an appeals process can be gamed as well. And this is the point that we keep trying to make: it’s literally impossible to do content moderation well at this kind of scale. There will always be problems and judgment calls people disagree with — and outright abuse. In both directions. People abusing the system to take down content they don’t like, and others abusing the system to keep up content or profiles that probably should be taken down. It’s easy for someone to say “oh, they shouldn’t do that,” but no one has yet come up with a system that always gets it right and stops any such abuse. Because it’s literally impossible.