"Hey Beautiful"; Race and Gender on Tinder

Proceedings of the 56th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences

Despite the popularity and societal relevance of online dating, an absence of available data has made it difficult to understand how people meet and interact online. The few studies that do exist have largely failed to focus on women of color, despite broad consensus that online dating spaces are particularly toxic and unwelcoming for those users. To study such experiences, we created synthetic Tinder profiles featuring a racially diverse set of female stock photo models to see how they fared in the Tinder ecosystem. Profiles featuring White women received more matches and slightly more messages, but all profiles received similar message content. We discuss the implications of our results and limitations of our approach.