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Brazil used Tinder bots to promote AIDS awareness

Timothy J. Seppala, @timseppala
February 11, 2015
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Despite what Tinder execs say, everyone knows what the app's actually used for (hint: it's casual sex), which explains why the Brazilian government (Portuguese) has used the mobile app to spread the word about AIDS. It also brought Hornet, an app aimed at gay males, into the fold and created accounts on each in an effort to raise awareness for condom use. The faux profiles were for three men and two ladies who're pretty open about their interest in prophylactic-free intercourse, and, should a Brazilian match with any of them, they'll immediately get a message warning them about the risks of unprotected sex. Given the country's struggles with the disease, hopefully it's effective.

The campaign's pilot program ran from January 23rd to February 1st (pre-Carnival season), with the government visiting places like bars and LGBT nightclubs to interact with some 2,000 people. As Brazil's minister of health Arthur Chioro tells it, this won't be the last time the government implements something like this. Which is good -- Tinder's flooded with bots as is, might as well be for some that'll make any randy risk-takers think before their next hook-up.

As The Verge notes, however, Tinder isn't exactly happy about the whole ordeal and views the profiles as advertising. So much so that the app's VP of corporate communications and branding issued a now-deleted tweet saying that the move violated Tinder's terms of service and that the profiles would be removed. For its part, Hornet said it's going to work with the Brazilian government to improve the campaign.

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