Chatbots on Tinder may have helped the youth vote

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Many have claimed the youth vote played a significant part in the 2017 general election result - although the voter turnout figures are yet to be revealed.

Much, too, has been made of the Conservative Party's failure to successfully engage with the young through their own social media platforms, and the potentially diminished power of the press to influence elections.

One platform encouraged the under 25s to get out and about in a way nobody expected.

The youth demographic reach of the Tinder dating app were harnessed for political means in the election.

Reports suggest that more than 150 people lent their Twitter profiles over to a chatbot, in order to encourage young people to vote tactically in swing constituencies and drive out Conservative MPs.

The chatbot changed locations to marginal seats, then sent automated messages to matches in order to question whether they were voting.

The team behind the chatbot, campaigner Yara Rodrigues Fowler (24 years old) and law student Charlotte Goodman (25), carried out an analysis of constituencies to find out where the youth vote could make the most difference with the help of two software engineers.

Rodrigues Fowler, who drafted the chatbot's responses to queries and statements, estimates that the chatbot sent between 10 and 20 thousand messages to Tinder users between 18-25 in marginal constituencies, including around 1,000 in Dudley North: a key swing constituency.

Kyle Buttner, one of the software engineers, told Mashable:

Making a Tinder bot to get young people to vote progressively was an exciting technical challenge and felt like it would have a real, serious impact in a way that most tech projects don’t.

It begs the question - which forms of campaigning will work best at the next election?


HT Mashable

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