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article imageBots promoting game 'Castle Clash' appear on dating app Tinder

By James Walker     Apr 3, 2014 in Technology
A number of users of the dating app Tinder are reporting that they are entering conversations with bots that have exploited the platform and share download links for a game called 'Castle Clash'.
The scheme appears to be intended as a simple but unusual advertising campaign for the game and starts by an unsuspecting user being matched with a fake profile of a woman. The bot then sends the user a few casual messages before sharing a link to a URL that redirects from '' - thus making it appear that Tinder is associated with the scheme and improving the on-the-face legitimacy of it all. The URL provides a download link for Castle Clash.
The ploy was first noticed when a user of social network Reddit posted a screenshot a week ago of the bot talking to him. Today, the post has accumulated a few replies from Tinder users claiming that the same thing is happening to them and that they are being approached by fake users who all promote the game. Twitter is also now filled with complaints regarding the issue.
A typical conversation between the user and the bot begins with the bot saying "hey", proceeding to ask how the user is and then telling them "I'm relaxing with a game on my phone, castle clash, have you heard of it?" The link is then sent to the user regardless of whether they reply positively or negatively.
A typical conversation between a Tinder bot promoting the game  Castle Clash  and an unsuspecting us...
A typical conversation between a Tinder bot promoting the game 'Castle Clash' and an unsuspecting user
The exact credentials of the people behind the bots are as yet unknown but a key candidate includes the developer of Castle Clash, I Got Games, who make many games that are obviously inspired by 'Clash of Clans' like Castle Clash. It is possible however that the company paid a third party to promote their product and that they decided to advertise the app in this way in order to boost downloads. These sorts of incidents are normally very few and far between, however, and the fact that the scam continues shows that the developer has not taken any steps to remove the app from any such rogue app promoter and it has not responded to any of the outcries from victims of the attack.
Tinder has acknowledged the issue on its site and is taking steps to remove the accounts from which the bots originate, saying
“We are aware of the accounts in question and are taking the necessary steps to remove them. Ensuring an authentic ecosystem has always been and will continue to be our top priority."
Tinder has not had a great reputation for dealing with fake profiles in the past, however, including the various porn bots that still exist on the platform despite being acknowledged and promised to be removed by Tinder back in December.
More about Bots, tinder, Dating, Online dating, castle clash
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