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We all have our preferences when it comes to swipes. But for some, especially marginalized folks, seeing a police officer in uniform on Tinder can be disarming.
Twitter user @lilmissagitated is a queer communist labor organizer who came across a Chicago police officer named Steven on Tinder. Steven, 29, uses the phrase “I will serve and protect you” in his bio, which put her off.
“Seemed like he was using [his position as a police officer] as a pickup and that really bothered me,” @lilmissagitated told the Daily Dot over Twitter DM. “Cops commit assault in their uniforms, to see one brazenly advertising himself on Tinder to young women that way really made me uncomfortable.”
She ended up swiping right to see if the two would match, and they did. She started off the conversation with the opening line “fuck 12” (a slang term for “fuck the police,” for the uninitiated).
The police officer responded by saying, “you seem nice,” to which @lilmissagitated sent two pig emojis.
“Sorry,” she told him, “I don’t speak pig.” Hours later, she learned she was banned from Tinder.
Her story has since gone viral, her tweet garnering over 5,000 retweets and 34,000 likes as of Friday morning.
“I can’t believe that I, an actual angel, [have] been banned from Tinder,” @lilmissagitated tweeted a day later. “What am I supposed to do while I shit now.”
gotta say, definitely worth it pic.twitter.com/iLGtkX2Tk4— alive girl (@lilmissagitated) January 10, 2019
i can’t believe that i, an actual angel, has been banned from tinder.— alive girl (@lilmissagitated) January 10, 2019
what am i supposed to do while i shit now
Twitter users were quick to join in on the fun, celebrating @lilmissagitated’s takedown.
this how I feel when an army guy or policeman follow me on insta lol like I don’t need an imperialist liking my photos thank u next— Daniela (@WhosDaniela) January 10, 2019
I zoomed in and literally flinched holy shit— resippy (@CreepyTarpon) January 10, 2019
I wIlL sErVe AnD pRoTeCt YoU— TheRealSugaMomma™️ (@gloinmelanin1) January 11, 2019
Thank you for your service.— hey! that's luigi! show him some respect! (@chromaticwasp) January 10, 2019
Stevens still cute af 🤷🏻♀️😍 https://t.co/9YpONljU2s— Jor (@Jorrdannfarvee) January 11, 2019
steven, 29 of the chicago pd could get it— dan (@dan_goldben) January 11, 2019
@lilmissagitated told the Daily Dot that while she’s come across many police officers and military personnel on Tinder, she usually doesn’t contact them. But this particular officer’s bio didn’t sit well with her and overall, she has concerns with cops using Tinder. Marginalized Tinder users sometimes want to avoid police officers on dating apps out of fear—the power and authority that an officer holds over a marginalized person is scary and easy to abuse. In @lilmissagitated’s case, she told the Daily Dot that she’s “personally experienced police brutality first-hand,” so cops are a trigger for her.
“I thought about what to say and honestly ‘fuck 12’ was the tamest thing I could come up with that I thought wouldn’t get me in Tinder trouble but I guess I was wrong about that,” @lilmissagitated told the Daily Dot.
Afterward, the police officer “tried to tell me he was one of the good guys,” she said, but he blocked her after she told him he was “was an agent of the state.” Hours later, she was banned. Admittedly, she was “surprised” that she was kicked off the platform.
“I just didn’t think I said anything that would get me permanently banned from Tinder,” @lilmissagitated said. “But it’s sort of like being banned from a porta potty, I’d rather just hold it.”
She suspects Tinder treats negative messages directed at cops as if they are just as dangerous as abuse levied against marginalized users.
“I’ve had friends on Twitter get banned for insulting Nazis, yet there’s still so many Nazis on this site,” she said.
The Daily Dot reached out to Tinder for comment on @lilmissagitated’s ban and is awaiting a response.
Ana Valens is a reporter specializing in online queer communities, marginalized identities, and adult content creation. She is Daily Dot's Trans/Sex columnist. Her work has appeared at Vice, Vox, Truthout, Bitch Media, Kill Screen, Rolling Stone, and the Toast. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, and spends her free time developing queer adult games.