If you have ever seen the MTV TV show Catfish, then you know the No. 1 rule in online dating is to never create a fake profile. Even though this never ends well, an organization did this very thing — for a good cause, of course — in a new PSA that speaks out against domestic violence.
The organization, Women in Distress, is behind the domestic violence public service announcement called "Tinder Beater," which used the popular dating app to show how nice guys can quickly show an uglier side of themselves and to remind women to seek help.
"Every nine seconds, a woman is domestically abused in the United States," said the organization in the PSA. "Violence that comes from men that most of the time started their relationship off as their perfect match."
Women in Distress said it wanted to spread awareness by targeting the place where women are looking for their matches — on Tinder. So they transformed the most popular dating app into a vehicle against domestic violence by using the app's photo scrolling system to use as an ad banner that shows "that even the most promising relationships can turn ugly in an instant."
The organization teamed with with Bravo/Y&R to create several fake profiles for men that appeared to look like nice guys. The team behind the Tinder banner ad liked every woman's profile for four weeks after the fake profiles were created. Those women were then able to scroll through the photos to reveal images of the men going from attractive to aggressive, eventually throwing punches with an ugly, hateful look in their eyes.
Women in Distress used Tinder's geo-location capability to target women in the Miami, Fla. area who they said were in need of help. The banner ad PSA also sparked a conversation about domestic violence, with some women sharing their personal stories.
While this banner ad may feel a bit spammy to some, it seems like the organization had women's best intentions at heart. If anything, it's a good reminder of how fast things can escalate in a relationship, especially when you begin dating someone online that you don't really know.