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The Right Stuff users claim they were contacted by FBI after using the conservative dating app

The dating platform currently has 2.4-star rating in Apple’s App Store

Chelsea Ritschel
New York
Wednesday 05 October 2022 14:53 BST
Conservatives using right-wing dating app claim they have been contacted by the FBI

The new dating app that promises to connect single conservatives with other like-minded individuals has launched to largely negative reviews, with some claiming they have been contacted by the FBI over their responses on the platform.

The Right Stuff, an invite-only dating app backed by conservative PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, launched last month after a widely mocked marketing campaign, which included promises of “profiles without pronouns” and a way for conservatives to avoid the “woke” dating apps.

“Quit swiping, scrolling and trolling the wrong people. There are people out there just like you,” the website states.

However, since its release, the app has faced scrutiny from individuals identifying themselves as users. Reviews in Apple’s App Store range from criticism over the invite-only interface to concerns over a prompt about 6 January, which some reviewers have claimed led to contact from the police or FBI.

As of 4 October, the dating platform has received 127 reviews in the App Store, culminating in a 2.4-star rating.

Per the reviews, one issue stems from a prompt on the app about the January 2021 Capitol insurrection.

“January 6th was,” the prompt reads, in reference to the date a mob of former president Trump’s supporters attacked the Capitol Building following his defeat in the 2020 presidential election.

“Okay app asks about January 6th, harmless, right? I said I was there because I was, I’m a patriot that’s why I’m on this dating app. I use this app for hardly an evening and is it a coincidence I get a call from an FBI agent the SAME DAY???” one person wrote in a one-star review. “Seriously, what stunt are they trying to pull? Whoever developed this has to be deepstate setting us up… I came here to find love, not a damn warrant.”

Users claim The Right Stuff dating app may be used by FBI to identify those who were at Capitol insurrection (Apple )

According to another individual, who identified themself as a user and left a one-star review, two police officers allegedly showed up at their door a day after they answered a question about 6 January “honestly” on the app.

They wrote: “I answered the question about January 6th honestly and the next day I have two police officers at my door telling me that they got a call alleging that I was involved in domestic terrorism??? This app was clearly created by Democrats as a way to subvert our constitutional rights as conservative Americans. Do not use this app unless you want to be harassed by left-wing fascists.”

Users claim they were contacted by police after sharing information on conservative dating app (Apple )
Dating app includes a question asking users about 6 January Capitol riots (Apple)

“It doesn’t tell you that you need an invite until after you’ve uploaded and shared a bunch of personal info. Some of the questions/answers that you can add to your profile look like stuff the FBI would like to know, [for example], opinion of 6 January,” someone else claimed in the reviews for the app in Apple’s App Store.

In addition to concerns about the “safety” of the platform, the most common complaint is the app’s invite-only aspecy. Prospective users have claimed they were unable to use the service “because it’s invite only,” wrote one one-star reviewer.

“I can understand having a paywall but making an app that your users cannot even access is beyond me,” the person continued. “What a waste of my time.”

Other users criticised app for being invite only (Apple)

Another user also found fault with the invite-only setup of the app and noted that they weren’t able to use the platform either. “So I love the idea and setup of the app but the whole reason I wanted to get this app was because I don’t know any conservatives in my area and wanted to get connected to them,” they wrote. “But because it’s invite only I cannot use the app. If you make it available to everyone, just have a verification system instead or have a way for people like me to get in without an invite, it’d be so much better.”

“Set up your profile then be told you can only join by invite only. What an absolute garbage way of making a dating app. Immediately deleted it as it’s guaranteed to have an extremely small pool of profiles because of this design. It’s basically designed to fail,” someone else wrote.

Since its launch last month, the app has also sparked mixed reviews among the conservative individuals it intends to target. One user named Bill claimed that the platform is actually a place for “extremists to meet”.

Bill, who identified himself as “pretty conservative,” shared his criticism in a one-star review, in which he said that prompts on the app such as: “My favourite liberal lie” make it a “breeding ground for misinformation and hate”.

“This app is just another space for people to become more extreme in beliefs that are rooted in hate and fear of things you shouldn’t even care about but the media told you [you] should care [about]. Stupid,” he wrote.

While the majority of the reviews for the app are negative, there are some users who have praised the platform, even if they haven’t been able to gain access.

“All you can do is make a profile. To actually use the app someone on the app has to invite you. Great concept though,” one three-star review reads, while another questioned how the app is “supposed to spread” if it is invite only. “I’m in love with the concept, and disappointed that I can’t join,” they added.

In a statement to The Independent, a spokesperson for The Right Stuff said it had determined reports of FBI contact were false. “Just people trolling,” they added. The FBI declined to comment.

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