Most Tinder users use the app to match with people nearby, for obvious reasons. But the world’s most used dating app has a premium feature, Passport, that allows a user with Tinder Plus or Tinder Gold memberships to choose to swipe in any location — like, say, Wuhan — no matter where they are.
And despite Tinder being banned in China, users say they’re having luck setting their location to Wuhan, allowing them to match with and chat to residents to hear their perspective on the global story.
US-based Twitter user @drethelin tweeted “Setting my tinder to Wuhan so I can get the real scoop on what’s going on” on Jan. 28 — just before the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 was a public health emergency.
He told BuzzFeed News he suspected the Chinese government was holding back information. It was obvious, he said, to use the app to speak directly to people there — and it worked.