Tinder Thinks Love Has No Boundaries – Even in the West Bank
On the ground, the specific geopolitical situation in Israel and Palestine, with checkpoints and patchwork of territory names, also shapes who uses Tinder’s service and how. Even if the interface does not include a clear reference to the separation barrier other than a broken gray line to indicate a disputed boundary, users of the region face a significant barrier: When Palestinians and Jewish Israelis get along, there is always no legal way for them to meet without leaving the entire country, despite their history in the area when swiped. Israelis can cross the Green Line to travel on separate routes to Israeli settlements, but not to Palestinian cities or villages. Palestinians in the West Bank, meanwhile, can never cross the Green Line without permission, which can be even more difficult to obtain. Palestinians with a Jerusalem ID or hold Israeli citizenship can be free to travel to Israel and Palestine to date if they find a couple. But users who have spoken to me without this freedom of movement say they are constrained by the fact that most of the people they see in the app are on the other line that they cannot cross, or be located in Residences. Israel, where for the most part it is not safe for them to travel. As a result, in the occupied West Bank the ability of a diverse population to use Tinder’s service to communicate and meet people geographically diverse, mostly along ethnic lines.
Of course Tinder is not itself responsible for the injustices of military work. However, by not recognizing the ways in which current political dynamics affect the scope of their service, the company effectively normalizes the work, treats de jure segregation (and access to the difference made of it) as an acceptable condition under which a geolocation-based dating app can operate. .
Samir, for his part, has encountered these obstacles on many occasions. In the early days of our friendship, he told me that if I went to Ramallah I would be the first person from the app he would meet in person while swiping from Palestine. He had previously dated Jewish Israelis, but until I crossed the Green Line, his Tinder relationships were purely virtual.
“We met twice and they said,‘ If you get permission and you can come in, slap me, ’but it never happened,” Samir explains. He also mentioned meeting an Israeli woman with Ariel, a nearby residence, on Tinder, but said he would not be comfortable if he found out where he lived.
“He invited me to come to Ariel,” he told me, “but I said, ‘Hell no.’”
In recent years, we users like to start questioning the idea that technology companies are irresponsible when their platforms are already in place dissemination of misinformation, sway elections, ug Warfare. What we have not paid enough attention to, however, is the potential for the primary function of the technology itself to have incidental political implications, and for non -party companies to engage in marginalization by default. As for many, their obligation to wisely and carefully navigate the geopolitical conditions of future markets is ignored in a culture that, even in the midst of a techlash, sees access to free market of technology equipment as an indicator of progress.