A sly new hack caused hundreds of men on tinder to unwittingly flirt with each other.
The thrill of a chase can be unnerving and enthralling, causing many to partially overlook their better judgment. Hence when two eager prospects appeared to be enthusiastic about each other, they chose to ignore peculiar points about the conversation until it was too late and realized they were men on both the sides, each assuming he was talking to a willing woman.
A California-based programmer has tweaked the app’s API, creating a catfish machine that fools men into thinking they’re talking to women — when in fact they’re talking with each other.
It’s no secret; Tinder creates a forum for individuals — namely men — that allows them to test the limits of aggressive and lewd behavior with seemingly little to no repercussions. Men routinely engage in flirtatious behavior on Tinder and surprisingly, it has become an acceptable norm. Hence they suspected little when the person on the other end appeared equally reciprocative to their advances. But unfortunately, little did they know that they were being talked-up by a man on the other end who was assuming he was talking to a woman.
Over the last few weeks, a California-based computer engineer has pitted heterosexual male against heterosexual male. The hacker’s program identified two men who “liked” one of his bait profiles (the first used prominent video-blogger Boxxy’s image; the second used an acquaintance who had given Patrick consent) and matched them to each other. The suitors’ messages — some aggressive, others mundane, but all of them unabashedly flirtatious — were then relayed, back and forth, to one another through the dummy profile.
Asked why he pitted men against men, the hacker said quite a few of his female friends used to complain about the messages they received on Tinder,
“The original idea was to throw that back into the face of the people doing it to see how they would react.”
He initially wanted to create a Twitter bot that merely tweeted every first message a female friend received. However, going over Tinder’s API, he realized it had little to no safeguards from far more aggressive “tweaks”,
“Tinder makes it surprisingly easy to bot their system. As long as you have a Facebook authentication token, you can behave as a robot as if you were a person.”
Needless to say, the program started working within minutes and had about 40 “tricked” conversations within the first 12 hours. He developed code to scramble phone numbers and stepped in when a real-world meeting was imminent. Speaking about the poor judgment of character displayed by men, he said,
“They ignore all the signs, they ignore all the weird things. When someone is so quick to meet up without any detail or know anything about the person at all — maybe it’s deserved.”
Tinder has been quite vulnerable in the past and judging by this hack, little has been done to fortify the platform.