Vocativ has built an app like tinder that will connect millennial voters to politicians in a unique way. Gigaom describes the app, called VOTR, as “a creative journalistic experiment with editorial aspirations behind it, albeit ones it may not achieve.”
VOTR allows users to go through all candidates running for election, grabbing information about the politician’s personal life and issues they support or do not support. The issues are brought to life with emoticons and fun facts. Pro-life is an emoticon of a baby and Pro-gun control is an image of a flower.
The app, like tinder, allows you to reject the politician by swiping far left, and matching with them by swiping far right. Once matched, users are encouraged to follow the candidate on social media sites.
The goal of VOTR is to bring candidates alive with biographical information as well as their stance on particular issues. VOTR aims to help young voters find politicians who share the same values as themselves, hoping to engage millennial voters in politics.
Ethical problems are raised when it comes to using emoticons and “quirky” facts about a candidate’s complicated history. VOTR users aren’t always receiving every perspective of the politician, but head of product Elena Haliczer tells Gigaom that a lot does get lost in their information extraction. “Those are necessarily product decisions that make for the simplicity and fun of the overall experience.
VOTR has potential drawbacks, but it is an experiment to use new technology and social media innovations to share information. Perhaps the effects of VOTR will be more transparent in the future.