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But for others, well, there are revelations aplenty in the new HBO documentary "Swiped: Hooking Up In The Digital Age," including how these apps and this method of meeting people could be changing how we think about relationships. Just in, like, economic terms, if you have a surplus of options, then the value goes down.

I could see a Tinder profile that I'm, like, excited about. If I met that person in real life, I would have this, like, sense of urgency. But I think on Tinder, if I see that profile, well, then I just swipe one way or another. And then, there's somebody else, immediately.

Nancy Jo Sales is an award-winning journalist and best-selling author, but "Swiped" is her first film. And she's with us now from our studios in New York.

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Nancy Jo, thanks so much for joining us. So I'm just going to go right to the point. It's a pretty bleak picture that you paint, and this will come as no surprise to people who date. And some of this might be a gendered response. I'm just going to admit that upfront. I know very few women who find this experience awesome And part of it is because it's that these apps are very visually oriented. They're very focused on appearance, on looks, on superficial looks, on how you look in the five seconds that somebody's going to look at your profile picture but also the fact that women feel like they've been commodified, you know?

They're just - they're a commodity now.

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And, presumably, men feel that way, too. But they seem to feel that way less. Did you suspect that going in, or is that something that emerged from your reporting? I understand what you mean about a bleak picture, but I think the bleakness comes from the technology itself. I think that what the film is trying to do is to get us to look at the technology and what it means and what it's doing to us, how it's changing our culture, how it's changing the way we treat each other, how we interact.

And I think that some of these results and ramifications are pretty bleak. But what I wanted to do and what I tried to do in the film was - Number 1 - to get people think about that and examine that but also to bring to life and humanize the people in these stacks of pictures. Well, to that end, you have some very - I don't know - heartbreaking encounters with people talking about their experiences on online dating.

And there's a scene where a group of African-Americans are talking about their experiences with online dating. I'm just going to play a short clip. And yes, I'm going to bleep some of the language. Here's how you get treated as a black woman when you're at a dating site.


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Either they don't want to [expletive] with you because you're black - I don't know why that freaks so many people out - or you're so exotic because you're black. I've never [expletive] a black girl before. And - one of the things we just talked about, objectification. And another thing I think has - is we heard about racism because it's somehow considered, on these apps, OK to choose what you want in a romantic partner.

And, sometimes, that veers towards what some of our African-American characters are experiencing as racism. And that's not OK, you know? Imagine being a woman age 22, 23, 24 and going on a dating app and seeing - you know, swiping on people and seeing a profile, which they said they saw pretty regularly, that actually said, and this is a quote, "no blacks. One of the things that was - I think many people will find fascinating is you got to interview the makers of a number of these apps, including Tinder, Bumble and Hinge executives.

What struck you from those conversations? I would say my favorite part in the film, in a way, is - and just in terms of revelations - as talking to Jonathan Badeen, who is the CSO of Tinder. Now, the swipe is - you know, the swipe mechanic, it's called, where you swipe on someone's face or picture, right or left, hot or, you know, hot or not.

But I was so struck by him talking about inventing the swipe and how he was quite open in discussing how he had based it in part on studies, psychological studies about controlling behavior and causing people to become addicted to things. You know, you confronted them about whether they thought about the deeper implications of what they have created. And I just want to play a short clip from an interview you had with the sociologist at Tinder.

Her name is Jessica Carbino, and this is what she had to say. Some people do use it to have more casual relationships. I mean, it is used that way as well. People meet people at church or meet people at their schools, and they have casual relationships with them as well. So what's going on? Is that this - what is that? I mean, you're making a specific point, which is that you're changing people's behavior. And you're changing - what?

And what do they I think that some of the things that they say about the apps are ridiculous, not just in this film but in interviews and elsewhere. And I think that it's marketing because I think that what they really are are businesses, and their real goal, overall, is to make money, you know? It's absurd, isn't it? To judge people on such petty things, as if they like to wear khakis. Look at how angry this makes people.

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And yet, this is what we've been doing the whole time," Aponte says at the end of the short film. Nearly 2, people viewed the film on YouTube within hours after it was posted on Thursday. Aponte was prepared for the social experiment to gain widespread attention.

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It went viral after one of the men who was duped into showing up to Union Square tweeted about the ordeal on Sunday. This actually happened to me and it could happen to you too," he wrote. I am about to tell you an epic tale about subterfuge, dating in the 21st century and the fall of human civilization. This actually happened to me and it could happen to you too.

Aponte said, "On social media, I've gotten way more positive than negative [responses], but of course the negative tends to stick harder … I'm also agreeing with the people who think this is wrong. It is wrong to judge someone in person, so why do we think its socially acceptable online? Aponte says the men outraged by the Tinder trick exemplified "how men are so quick to just judge [women] and put a label on us just because we didn't give them what they wanted In the end of "The Tinder Trap," Aponte did pick a man from the group of competitors who stuck around.


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  4. She did not divulge if she and the man planned on seeing each other again, but said that Tinder has offered her a lifetime gold membership just in case she needs it. Aponte said the Tinder story shows how "that whole platform is just not very healthy at this point, but I hope [the film] opens awareness. Betty White celebrated her birthday on Thursday, and after seven decades in show business, she's still making us laugh. The carmakers moved even though the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which normally oversees recalls, is closed due to the shutdown.

    HBO doc examines how Tinder has fundamentally impacted dating | Daily Mail Online

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