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German political candidate campaigns on Tinder

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German political candidate campaigns on Tinder
Photo: SPD Berlin/Joachim Gern
12:57 CEST+02:00
Like many Berlin students, Alexander Freier is an avid Tinder user, and likes nothing more than getting matches on the app.

But he isn't using the dating app to find love - Freier is actually canvassing for votes. A member of the Social Democratic Party (SPD), one of Germany’s two major political parties along with the CDU, he is standing for election into the Berlin House of Representatives in September, and the 29-year-old hopes that connecting with voters on Tinder is the way to do it.

Instead of using photos of himself on his profile, he is using images with his campaign slogans including “the city of freedom” and “Berlin stays gay”.

Freier has received around 100 'hearts' in just over a week, meaning that users have 'liked' his profile by swiping right. He told the Berliner Zeitung that the messages he had received had been "very positive".

But it’s not just his policies that are getting voters excited.

“People have also flirted with me," he admitted. "But I have to separate politics and my private life. What's more, I’m in a happy relationship!”

Freier explained his decision to take his campaign to Tinder, saying that it's good for politicians to "be where the people are".

Marisa Strobel, press spokesperson for the Berlin branch of the SPD, said that candidates were free to choose how they conducted their campaigns, as long as they weren't violating the law or party statute.

It is the first time that a German politician has used the dating app as a campaign platform - but Tinder has previously attracted the interest of politicians in other countries.

Former UK Prime Minister David Cameron had a meeting with the startup, along with other social media companies, in an effort to try to attract the youth vote in his EU referendum campaign. The news created so much excitement that Downing Street was forced to issue a statement clarifying that the 49-year-old father of two had not actually created a profile on the app.

Over in the US, two female fans of former Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders were temporarily banned from the dating app for spamming matches with political messages. Tinder said: “We whole-heartedly support people sharing their political views on Tinder” and that people should feel free to “spread the Bern” using their app - a reference to the slogan of Sanders' supporters.
 

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