Tinder Gets Its Panties In A Twist About Vanity Fair Article, Loses It On Twitter

Nancy Jo Sales published an incendiary look at the “dating apocalypse” and Tinder’s role in the current dating landscape last Friday on VanityFair.com. Tinder, less than pleased with the journalist painting them as a tool for loafer-ed I-bankers bagging chicks and swinging dicks, came for Sales on Twitter. This is ridiculous, but hey, let’s get into it.

Her piece exposed what a lot of casual and not so casual users of Tinder notice in their everyday experiences: it’s a great place to get laid, but not necessarily that good for relationships. Yesterday, she cited offhand a study in AdWeek that revealed that 30 percent of all Tinder users are married. In an astonishing moment of zero to little chill, Tinder decided to take to Twitter, which is exactly what you should do if someone writes something about you that you don’t like.

Not one to stand down in the face of criticism for what was a well-written and engaging story, Sales fired back:

What followed was a strange hissy fit thrown by a company doing its best to save face (????) while calling out someone who thought they wronged them. To her credit, Sales took the high road:

She’s not wrong. The backlash that Sarah Maslin Nir faced after her scathing deep dive into nail salons and the sordid underbelly of the cheap-luxury economy manifested in a strange rebuttal from Richard Bernstein, a former New York Times China correspondent, who published his point of view in the New York Review Of Books. Good journalists put in a lot of work to present stories that engage their readers and expose truths that are unspoken, unseen or unnoticed. That’s all Sales was doing. What followed was a prime example of how not to handle some questionably bad press. Instead of taking a minute and really thinking about what they were going to say before they say it, Tinder jumped to its own defense, unleashing a storm of responses that sounded kind of like what you say when someone tells you that you’re wrong and you don’t want to back down.

Sales chose to write about one set of experiences, which is her prerogative as a journalist. She saw a story, sniffed it out and reported on what she observed. Certainly there are people that have met on Tinder and fallen into successful relationships or friendships. But if you ask any single person right now who’s spent any sort of time swiping while watching television or waiting in line at the grocery store to buy toilet paper and hummus, you’ll hear a lot of the same things that Sales wrote about in her piece.

Modern dating, for the most part, is kind of a nightmare! Being able to choose people as you would a new pair of shoes on Zappos is good for getting laid but not that great for meeting the person you’re going to marry or at least date with any seriousnss. That’s not an unfair assessment. I personally know of one Tinder success story that led to a long term relationship, and I’m sure there are more out there. Anything with such a large user base is bound to have a wide variety of experiences. That’s the beauty of this thing. Sales wrote the story that she found, but it’s by no means the definitive narrative. The reaction feels outsized for the situation. Tinder’s integrity as an app and a company wasn’t at stake! It’s the nature of the interactions that occur on their app that Sales was exploring, and nothing more. Being a sore loser isn’t a good look.

Is this surprising from a company who last year settled a nasty sexual harassment lawsuit with one of its ousted co-founders following a string of heinous texts? Not really. Regardless, this is a move that only makes them look like giant, whiny babies.

Sales managed to get the last word.

Reading the entire take before you create your own is always wise! This has been a valuable lesson in thinking before you speak.