Greggor Ilagan, 29, a two-term councilman, wrote on his profile,“Hey you! Help me make a positive difference in our community. Swipe right and let’s talk.”
“This year, I am running for State Senate. I bet we can find common ground on issues and make a positive impact around us. Swipe right and let’s get to know each other.”
Tinder uses brief bios which users can flip through based on their location, age, and gender preferences. To be able to message someone, you both have to ‘swipe right’ on each other’s profiles.
Ilagan told Civil Beat that the platform was not the best for campaigning, however.
“At first, I put both genders — male and female,” he said. “But because it’s a dating site, there were actually a lot of guys that were hitting on me. I was always having to direct people back to the main focus.”
“They asked me, ‘Oh, can I have a date?’ And I said, ‘Well, we can have a meeting and we can talk about government and maybe you can help out on the campaign.'”
The Senate hopeful finally pulled the plug on his Tinder campaign last week, and has since returned to the more prosaic Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, platforms now seen as traditional social media for campaigning.
“I thought the one-on-one interaction would be great, but it just leads to other things,” Ilagan mused. “Now I know why people don’t campaign on it. Tinder just has a different environment and different expectation. I learned the hard way."