The dating app Tinder has a reputation for being a hookup site, where people swipe looking more for a one-night stand than long-lasting love. But despite this reputation, Tinder actually has some rules and regulations in its Terms of Service that users must abide by or face the consequences. Sometimes, those consequences can mean being banned from using the site. One man was recently banned for life for using racial slurs, for example.
The rules are always changing, evolving with the times and needs of the users. But there is one steadfast rule you can pretty much rest assured will always be a rule: just be a decent human being. It’s not that hard. Don’t insult people, don’t call names, use hate speech, threaten violence, or harass someone else. If you don’t like someone you come across, just move on or ignore them. If everyone could commit to being a decent human being (which seems surprisingly hard for a lot of people), there would not be the need for banning people, in the first place. But unfortunately, that is not the world we are living in, and not everyone has decency at heart.
And thus, people can be (and regularly are) banned from Tinder. To avoid doing so, you might want to read this list of actions that can get you to that point. While some of them are fairly obvious, others may come as a surprise to you. Read on to find out 15 things not to do if you want to keep your Tinder account.
15. Racial Slurs
This one should probably be pretty obvious. Racial slurs of any kind are rarely tolerated these days, as it should be. One example of a person being banned from Tinder is the case of a guy named “Nick”, who got a little angry when his Tinder match did not reply to him after a string of texts they had exchanged. He went on a text rant, calling her names like “Chink” and the c-word all women loathe. He insulter her, talked down to her, and belittled her, all because she was in the shower during this 15-minute time period and had not replied to him. The screen shots of his meltdown went viral, and other women who had talked to him and/or went out with him came forward with their stories about how horrible he was. Tinder has “a zero-tolerance policy on disrespect. No racist rants. No sexist pigs. No trolling. No jerks who can’t get over their own inadequacies.”
Tinder is pretty on top of things, and as we know, they have little to no tolerance for questionable behavior online- and that includes trolling. One guy named Brandon Thacker posted on a bodybuilding website about his being banned from Tinder. He said he did not even know it was possible to be banned from the site (clearly, he should read this article), and posted that, “Been on a megatroll lately with Tinder. About once a week I’d delete my account and run autoliker in my town, automatically liking like 10k chicks. I guess a few chicks got tired of matching and getting trolled by me so they must have reported my account. Tried to get on it tonight and I’ve been getting ‘There was a problem logging into Tinder. Please try again all night’.” One person replied to Brandon that they could get him unblocked for $20 paid though Paypal, but the lesson was learned: don’t troll on Tinder! Or anywhere.
13. Being Transgender (Possibly)
In our day and age of progressive acceptance of all people regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, or gender, it is somewhat surprising that such a large online presence such as Tinder would be so openly transphobic. But it was not long ago that Tinder was, in fact, accused of banning users for being transgender. Several transgender users, like Molly McGlone and Sal Solomon, have stories of conveniently being banned just after matching with someone, and they believe it was because of how they identify. Tinder users can self-police the site by reporting one another, and there was a time when Tinder had only two choices, “male” or “female”, making it difficult for those who do not fit into one category or the other. Their matches were reporting the transgender users as being misleading, causing them to be banned. This was back in 2015, and things have improved since then, but the system is not perfect and there is still the possibility to be given the boot for being transgender.
12. Tiger Selfies
Tinder is not cool with their users posting selfies with dead tigers, and they won’t allow it. At one time, people were posting a lot of these photos of themselves with the endangered species they killed. It is not something to be proud of, and it is something most people don’t want to see. The only reason it would be good to post on a dating site is that potential dates would then know to avoid those people if they don’t believe in that practice. Tinder banned the selfies (and will ban users, if they do not abide by this rule) following pressure from PETA in August of this year. They demanded that all tiger selfies already posted be removed, and will not tolerate any more being posted. They then donated $10,000 to Project Cat, an organization that seeks to protect endangered tigers. Tinder wrote, “Posing next to a king of the jungle doesn’t make you one. It’s time for the tiger selfies to go. More often than not, these photos take advantage of beautiful creatures that have been torn from their natural environment.”
11. Political Campaigning
Especially around election time, everyone needs a break from the endless campaigns, so we can see where some sites might not want to allow it, especially if it could be seen as their supporting one candidate over another. Politics are a touchy subject, and should be avoided in certain situations. But on the other hand, people have a right to free speech, and on a site like Tinder where people are looking to meet likeminded individuals, maybe it makes sense to talk politics, at least to an extent. Whatever your feelings on the subject, in 2016 two women were banned from Tinder for campaigning for Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. They were using the social media platrform as a recruiting technique, which did not fly with some of their “matches”. Robyn Gedrich and Haley Lent would both swipe right on every profile and immediately write, “Do you feel the Bern? Please text WORK to 82623 for me. Thanks!” Both women were banned from Tinder for this.
10. Terrible Pick-Up Line
No one likes pick-up lines, am I right? They are phony, insincere, and most often used by jerks just looking to hookup. In some situations, they are funny, however. And in the case of Tinder, you can almost expect pick-up lines, like this one from Tinder user Maximilian Berger, whose creepy, cringe-worthy words were actually stolen and used by other men. The so-called “apocalypse opener” (named by Berger for the fact that women would probably only sleep with him in the event of an apocalypse that left all other men on Earth dead) was used in his video, “How to F*ck Girls on Tinder.” Now somewhat infamous due to it being used over and over by numerous desperate men, using the Apocalypse Opener can get you banned from Tinder. So please, for the love of God, never write, “Hey, I know this is kinda weird and pushy haha, but would you like to have sex with me? I’m not a creep or pervert, just a genuine guy. I would treat you with respect and the sex would be good. I can even make you squirt if the connection is right haha. I will not judge you or think you’re “easy.” So yeah, excuse me if I come across a little uncalibrated but I think you’re attractive, so what do you think?
9. Asking For Money (Even As A Joke)
One Tinder user (well, former Tinder user) named Maggie Archer wrote in her Tinder bio, “Send me $5.00 and see what happens.” It is intriguing, if anything- and it actually worked! Men sent her money, likely expecting nude photos or something of the sort, but once the cash was deposited into her account, Maggie unmatched with them, and they had no way of getting in touch with her. It is totally a scam, but it is actually kind of brilliant, if you think about it. Maggie says of her scheme, “It’s really a foolproof plan, because I’m not actually promising anything, I just say ‘see what happens’. I figured it was too funny not to share. Also, I wanted to give more women this idea to share the wealth.” And really, if men are dumb (or desperate) enough to pay someone five dollars with no promise of anything, they kind of deserve to lose said five dollars. But in the end, it got her banned from Tinder.
8. Too Many Matches
It is true that there are those people out there who are just that desirable that pretty much everyone wants them. But the head honchos at Tinder tend to get suspicious when they see a user with 2500 matches in 48 hours. As an experiment, a Life and Style writer joined Tinder and spent one whole weekend swiping right. Most of the men either messaged her something unoriginal like, “Hello”, used a cheesy pickup line, or got hot and heavy right off the bat. Some became angry when she did not reply ASAP (although she did not reply to anyone as this was just an experiment). A few became suspicious that she was a real person, and so did the Tinder head office. As the writer said in her article, “Despite being on the receiving end of the tawdry messages, it is me who gets banned and has her dating privileges revoked.” In 48 hours, she had 2500 matches, 1300 messages, and two marriage proposals. So the moral of the story is: be selective on who you match with, because more is not always merrier, at least not in the world of Tinder.
7. Fat Shaming
Fat-shaming is never cool, and when it comes to Tinder, it could probably fall under the broader category of just not being a douchebag- or, as Tinder themselves would put it, being disrespectful. Whatever you want to call it, fat-shaming is what got this guy named Connor banned from the site. All you have to do is read his cruel and unnecessary words to know that Tinder was right in their decision to ban him. A friend of the girl who was fat-shamed took to Facebook to express her outrage. Connor wrote to the woman, among other things, that she is a “fat mother-f*cker”, that she would never have a chance with him, that she was out of his league, and then he had the audacity to tell her that she is full of herself! What a total tool. Good riddance, Connor!
6. Being Underage
Under age can mean different things in different situations. When it comes to alcohol, in the United States you are generally considered under age if you are younger than 21 years old. For cigarettes, it is 18. To join Tinder, you need to be 18, as well. In 2016, they finally banned anyone under 18 from using the dating and hookup site. It seems kind of obvious given Tinder’s reputation and the dangers of teens meeting strangers online no matter the circumstance, but it took Tinder awhile to actually do it. Since 2012 when it was launched, Tinder allowed teens as young as 13 to participate, but last year they announced that, “On a platform that has facilitated over 11 billion connections, we have the responsibility of constantly assessing our different user experiences. Consistent with this responsibility, we have decided to discontinue service for under 18 users. We believe this is the best policy moving forward. This change will take effect next week.” They try to make sure no one is posing as adult and using Tinder now, but you know kids will find a way to do it, anyway. They just better not get caught, or they will be reported and banned.
5. Standing Up For Yourself
Rebecca Lentini is a Latina activist in New York City, and she started the @WhyDidYouSwipeRightTho Instagram account, on which she posts screenshots of her Tinder messages. She swipes right on everyone, and exposes the daily threats she receives of rape, deportation, and death from her “matches.”Also visible in the screenshots are her responses, which are witty and knowledgeable comebacks. Lentini reports these men for their threats, abuse, and general inappropriateness, but none have been banned. Instead, it was Lentini who was banned. She believes she was banned from Tinder for reporting men too often and then following up to see why they had not been banned. There is also the fact that she was exposing the negative side of Tinder to the world. It is sad, but it is not exactly surprising.
4. Being A Felon Or Sex Offender
According to the official terms of Tinder, a person is only eligible for an account if they “have never been convicted of a felony and are not required to register as a sex offender with any state, federal or local sex offender registry.” We take this to mean that if you become a felon or a registered sex offender after already having the Tinder account, you will be banned. Of course, there is really no way for them to know that about you, but in a perfect world, they would. If they were ever to find out, you would for sure be banned. So it is pretty simple: either don’t break the law, don’t get caught breaking the law, or if you do, don’t let Tinder find out about it (or for that matter, any other Tinder users who would be likely to report it). However, if you are a felon and/or sex offender, Tinder is likely the least of your worries.
Being catfished is a valid fear when trying to find love online. As we all know from MTV’s show Catfished, it happens all too often. And if you are the one doing the catfishing, it could get you banned from Tinder. It happened to a YouTube star named James Charles. Tinder believed his account was a fake, and in their Terms of Service, they clearly state that users shall not “impersonate any person or entity or post any images of another person without his or her permission”. James insisted it was his account and begged to be un-banned, with the support of his fans who responded to his Twitter post about it with their own stories and support. James said on Twitter, “@Tinder hi still single as hell and still banned please help me.” We’re sure everything got straightened out for poor James, but it goes to show that Tinder does not mess around when it comes to catfishing!
2. Image Violation
Now this should be an obvious one. Violating Tinder’s image rules and regulations (including the aforementioned posting of tiger selfies) can and will get you banned. It is not rocket science; obviously, people (especially women) do not want to be swiping along looking for a date and have to see any lewd or lascivious photos without warning. No one wants to see that. Even though Tinder has a reputation for being a hookup site, and many men and women do use it for that, there are people out there who genuinely want to make a romantic connection with someone. If your Tinder images include nudity, violence, or anything else that could potentially offend users, they will probably report it- and you. There can also be issues with trademark and copyright infringements, but the bigger problem is sex and violence in photos.
Talking a lot about drugs (even just marijuana) and/or posting photos of said drugs can get you banned from Tinder. Despite their less-than-squeaky-clean reputation, it seems that Tinder would prefer to avoid associating itself with drugs of any kind. One former Tinder user was banned for, as he puts it, “too much weed”. He wrote on a forum, “<!–<!– I live in Portland, Oregon where cannabis is legal on a state level and I am a medical marijuana patient registered with the state. For the entire time I have had Tinder I have alluded to my 420-friendly ways, and since I moved out west to a legal state, I have always included pictures of my using cannabis and later trimming it (since that’s my job). I have vacationed in Washington, California, Massachusetts and Rhode Island with zero issues- but that changed a couple of weeks ago I went with my family to New Hampshire, a non-legal state.” A few days later, he was given the boot from Tinder. It seems like even legal pot is not cool with Tinder.
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