Seriously? NPR Hypes Dating Apps for Anti-Brexit Singles

On Tuesday, NPR's All Things Considered channeled its inner millenial by airing a full segment on smartphone apps for singles in the U.K. who are opposed to Brexit. Lauren Frayer played up how "many British singles...have started posting how they voted — 'leave' or 'remain' — on their dating profiles." She also spotlighted the "Better Together Dating" app, which apparently "bills itself as Tinder for the 48 percent. That's the proportion of British voters who chose 'remain' in last year's EU referendum."

Host Kelly McEvers introduced Frayer's report by noting that Brexit "dominates the news headlines in Europe....It's the topic of family arguments over many British dinner tables. And, as NPR's Lauren Frayer reports, it's even upended the search for love." The Madrid-based correspondent first interviewed two twenty-something professionals who took opposing stances on the political issue. The pair "say one topic seems to come up more than ever on dates these days: Brexit."

After highlightng how "people have started posting how they voted — 'leave' or 'remain' — on their dating profiles," Frayer turned to John Kershaw, the developer of the "Better Together Dating" app, who noticed the trend of singles disclosing their political stance on this controversial topic and "spotted a market." The NPR journalist also pointed out how "another company is crowdfunding to create a dating app called Remainder — same kind of thing. But there's no app — at least, that I could find — for 'leave' voters."

Frayer then interviewed Sam Freeman, a member of "Better Together Dating," who "uses the...app for a little respite from the Brexit arguments that dominate dinner tables across the U.K. these days." She noted that Freeman is also "on other apps, and he says he always swipes left — that means not interested — when he sees profile photos with the word 'leave' emblazoned on them, or with a nationalist flag in the background."

The correspondent ended her report with a humorous anecdote about her featured anti-Brexit single: "There's even a bigger deal breaker for Sam in these apps — something that always makes him swipe left." Freeman revealed that he is "allergic to cats."

It should be pointed out that the day before the June 2016 referendum, NPR's Morning Edition program included three anti-Brexit segments in one broadcast.

The full transcript of Lauren Frayer's report from the July 11, 2017 edition of NPR's All Things Considered:

KELLY MCEVERS: Britain's upcoming exit from the European Union dominates the news headlines in Europe. It cast a shadow over last month's election in the U.K. and the recent G-20 summit in Germany. It's the topic of family arguments over many British dinner tables. And, as NPR's Lauren Frayer reports, it's even upended the search for love.

LAUREN FRAYER: Outside a London pub on a sunny afternoon — pints of beer in hand — Brittney Cornwell and Amy Hussey are gabbing about their love lives. They're in their early 20s, and work together at a bank around the corner. They say one topic seems to come up more than ever on dates these days: Brexit. Here's Amy.

AMY HUSSEY: Yeah, you can't avoid it. It's always a topic (laughs).

FRAYER: She voted to leave the European Union, and is getting razzed for it.

HUSSEY: By my work colleagues (laughs) — by Brittney in particular.

FRAYER: Because her friend Brittney voted 'remain,' and says she doesn't want to hang out with 'leave' voters. Would Brittney date a leave voter, I ask.

BRITTNEY CORNWELL: It depends how hot they are. (laughs)

FRAYER: Really?

CORNWELL: Yeah, definitely.

FRAYER: So they have to be hotter than a remainer?

CORNWELL: (laughs) I don't know. I don't know.

FRAYER: They're joking, but many British singles are not. Since the EU referendum a year ago, people have started posting how they voted — 'leave' or 'remain' — on their dating profiles — on apps like Tinder, OKCupid, and match.com.

John Kershaw, an app developer from Manchester, spotted a market.

JOHN KERSHAW, BETTER TOGETHER DATING: Took us, I think, a few hours from deciding that Better Together Dating is — like, a really cool name — to having it in the app stores.

FRAYER: 'Better Together Dating' is a smartphone app that bills itself as Tinder for the 48 percent. That's the proportion of British voters who chose 'remain' in last year's EU referendum.

KERSHAW: So you log into Better Together; you get a nice little EU flag with hearts in it; and then, it's just a list of people nearby. And you can star them, or you can chat in the app. You can send each other messages, and all that fun stuff.

FRAYER: Another company is crowdfunding to create a dating app called Remainder — same kind of thing. But there's no app — at least, that I could find — for 'leave' voters.

SAM FREEMAN: I suppose for leavers — you know, they won the referendum, didn't they? So there's no sense of alienation or — you know, anything like that.

FRAYER: Sam Freeman voted 'remain,' and uses the Better Together app for a little respite from the Brexit arguments that dominate dinner tables across the U.K. these days.

FREEMAN: I've had plenty of arguments with people over it. I mean, I think the bulk of the people at work disagree with me. My parents both voted 'leave' — strongly disagree with what they thought.

FRAYER: He just doesn't want to fight those battles on a date, too. He's on other apps, and he says he always swipes left — that means not interested — when he sees profile photos with the word 'leave' emblazoned on them, or with a nationalist flag in the background.

But it's not all about politics. There's even a bigger deal breaker for Sam in these apps — something that always makes him swipe left.

FREEMAN: It's always a little bit worrying when every photo has a cat in it. I mean, that's — that's always a bad sign. And I'm allergic to cats, so—

FRAYER: Lauren Frayer, NPR News, London.


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