Tinder robot reveals men are not as terrible as you might think

Karen X. Cheng
3 min readFeb 10, 2015

My girlfriends and I have a private Facebook group where we exchange Tinder horror stories. And we’re not the only ones.

Women from all over the Internet submit to ByeFelipe, an Instagram account with over 300,000 followers that calls out guys who turn hostile when they get rejected or ignored.

@Byefelipe, Instagram.com

We hear these horror stories all the time. How common is this kind of behavior? We decided to find out.

So we built a Tinder robot using pictures from our friend Lisa Winning (CEO of HeTexted).

The robot right-swiped on 1,000 profiles of men in San Francisco and another 1,000 in New York City.

Over a thousand men messaged Lisa. Since this was a robot and not actually her, none of the guys received any responses. We were afraid they’d become hostile after being ignored, like we’d seen on ByeFelipe so many times before.

Out of 1,007 men who messaged Lisa, how many would you guess turned hostile?


Over a thousand men messaged her and were ignored. And not a single one turned hostile.

That’s pretty impressive.

Just about everyone who messaged her was friendly and respectful. Sure, there was teasing, guys who were straightforward about their intention to hook up, and plenty of bad pickup lines. But no one became hostile or resorted to name-calling.

After scrolling through all these messages, we started to feel bad about the experiment. Here these guys were putting genuine effort into getting to know her, but she was just a robot. They took the time to ask her meaningful questions. Many of them even Googled her company (which was listed in her profile) in an effort to make conversation.

So if these Tinder horror stories are so common, how come we didn’t find a single one among over a thousand messages?

It’s like shark attacks. We hear about them in the news every summer, but only 5 people a year die of shark attacks.

It’s the negative stories that get all the attention. Stories about men being decent and polite just aren’t as interesting as the stories of men being jerks. But here it is. Evidence that the vast majority of guys are actually pretty decent.

For every asshole, there are a thousand invisible gentlemen.

If you could run an experiment on Tinder, what would you want to find out? Email your ideas to karenxcheng (at) gmail (dot) com

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Data and analysis by Paul Mestemaker, written by Karen X. Cheng

Paul Mestemaker runs CleverPoint, a technology consulting company based in San Francisco. He initially started playing with the Tinder API back in September 2014.

Karen X. Cheng makes viral videos and does viral media and brand consulting for companies.

Lisa Winning is the CEO of HeTexted, a platform for advice.

Note: The original purpose of the experiment was entirely different. A friend mentioned she got fewer matches when she mentioned she’s a CEO. Presumably, because men are intimidated or turned off by strong women. After right-swiping on 1,000 profiles with her CEO job title and 1,000 profiles without, we found: it makes no difference at all.



Karen X. Cheng

Director / Brand Videos / Keynote Speaker. 500 million views. Founder http://butterbar.com