Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Facebook somehow believes its new "video speed-dating" service won't end in abject, bigoted failure

Hey girl.
Hey girl.
Photo: Drew Angerer (Getty Images)

Allow us to make a prediction: Facebook Dating will not be a popular platform for finding true love. How do we know this? Because Facebook Dating has been around for three whole goddamn years now, and you thought we were talking about a new romantic project courtesy of your QAnon-brainwashed aunt’s favorite social media platform.

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With that in mind, please let us make one more bold assumption: Facebook’s new “video speed-dating” service focusing on “kindness,” Sparked, is also going to go down in a fiery blaze of harassment, bigotry, and credit card scams. As first reported by The Verge, the new, separate site was developed by Zuckerberg’s New Product Experimentation (NPE) team, and is currently in its early testing phase for the masochists among you.

Illustration for article titled Facebook somehow believes its new "video speed-dating" service won't end in abject, bigoted failure
Screenshot: Sparked (Fair Use)

According to its description, the new dating venue focuses on “video dating for kind people,” and will cycle users through four-minute video chat sessions with their potential matches. If both parties like what they see/hear/are semi-certain isn’t a scambot, they can then opt for another, longer date lasting a whopping ten minutes. From there, people are encouraged to be inundated by White Replacement Theory spam messages keep in touch via another app like Instagram, or email.

“Kindness” is key to Sparked, for whatever that’s worth. As Business Insider notes, “Kindness is mentioned several times during the sign-up process for Sparked, including a step where users will have to explain what makes them a kind dater.” Responses will apparently be reviewed by human employees before anyone can actually use the video chat, thus ensuring that nothing terrible, racist, sexist, or otherwise awful will ever happen on the new app from the minds behind one of the most terrible, racist, sexist, and otherwise awful social media sites ever made.

Currently, the service isn’t available for download via the App Store or Google Play (and, with any luck, never will be), but you’re more than welcome to sign up/join the waitlist via Sparked’s website, if you dare.

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Andrew Paul is a contributing writer with work recently featured by NBC Think, GQ, Slate, Rolling Stone, and McSweeney's Internet Tendency. He writes the newsletter, (((Echo Chamber))).