A California-based programmer has hacked Tinder’s API and created a ‘catfishing’ like machine that’s setting bros up with bros, only the bros think they’re talking to women. The idea for #BrosSwipingBros came about when the Tinder brogrammer from California heard from his female friends how they were receiving extremely forward and raunchy messages on Tinder, and he thought it would be hilarious to rejigger the Tinder API so that the’s bros were hitting on each other while thinking they were actually hitting on chicks.
#BrosSwipingBros was first reported on over at The Verge/VOX, where they’re quick to point out how Tinder has a longstanding history of getting hacked. Upon realizing Tinder’s vulnerability the brogrammer then got to creating his program that would turn swiping bros onto his dummy account, which he would then record and tweet out via a Twitter bot he’d created.
Sound complicated? It’s really not. At the crux of what’s happening is a programmer began to catfish bros on Tinder who would then freak out once they realized they were talking to dudes. Here’s a few of the reactions shared on The Verge:
Then some of the conversations get deeper, and the dudes get much more freaked out:
Some dudes refused to believe that what they were seeing was a man, they couldn’t comprehend that they were being catfished:
And then if you head on over to The Verge the conversations of #BrosSwipingBros getting catfished get really, really bizarre. This Tinder API hacking and subsequent leak to the world has really taken off on Twitter too, where the hashtag #BrosSwipingBros has taken off like wildfire.
Here’s a slightly more in-depth explanation of the Tinder API hacking as stated on The Verge:
But over the last few weeks, a California-based computer engineer — we’ll call him Patrick — has pitted heterosexual male against heterosexual male. Patrick’s program identifies two men who “like” one of his bait profiles (the first used prominent vlogger 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 — are then relayed, back and forth, to one another through the dummy profile.
Patrick was a Tinder user (in fact, it’s where he met his current girlfriend) and says that female friends of his would often 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.” Initially, he set out to build a Twitter bot that tweeted every first message a female friend received, but then he looked into Tinder’s API and found it had little safeguard from more extensive 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.”
The program made matches within minutes of activation; Patrick estimates he was overseeing 40 conversations within the first 12 hours. He developed code to scramble phone numbers and stepped in when a real-world meeting was imminent, but he also feels ambiguous about the ethics of the prank: “They ignore all the signs, they ignore all the weird things,” he says of the users. “When someone is so quick to meet up without any detail or know anything about the person at all — maybe it’s deserved.”
So listen up bros: BE VERY CAREFUL when kicking up a conversation on Tinder in the coming days, because as more and more people read about this the more likely it is that this hack will take off and spread to more Tinder markets. That is unless you’re looking to get catfished and want to hit on other bros, in that case keep on saying whatever you want on Tinder.