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Nab yourself a nice Russian bot with Facebook Dating

The guys who will be messaging you.
Photo: Alex Wong (Getty Images)

After destabilizing entire nations, radicalizing the elderly, and alienating no shortage of once-happy families, Facebook’s getting into the dating game. As The Verge reports, the feature, which you’ll find as a new tab within the mobile app, launches today in the U.S., Canada, Brazil, and elsewhere for users over the age of 18. It’s a good thing nobody can make fake accounts on the platform, lest lovelorn users unwittingly find themselves talking to a Russian bot or a gaggle of cackling pre-teens.

As The Verge explains, your dating profile is separate from your main Facebook page, though your interests and Facebook activity—shudder—will help the app determine your best matches, as will its integration with your groups and events. Like the dating app Hinge, Facebook Dating can match you with friends of your Facebook friends, though your own Facebook friends will only be able to see you if you use the “secret crush” feature. Per the report, you can “express interest in up to nine Facebook friends (or Instagram followers). If you both like each other, you’ll get a notification letting you know.”

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While it might feel uncomfortable creeping on your great-aunt’s neighbor’s daughter, you can date completely outside of your network. Do that, though, and you’re basically begging to get scammed or catfished.

That said, Facebook’s made security a big part of the feature. You can share details of an upcoming date with trusted contacts, as well your live location so somebody—besides Facebook, of course—always knows where you are. There’s also no ads or feed-clogging bullshit. “We didn’t want to include anything around swiping or games,” said product manager Nathan Sharp. “Facebook Dating is about conversations.”

So go find love, kids. Just don’t be surprised when all of your horny DMs are leaked for the entire Dark Web to exploit.

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About the author

Randall Colburn

Randall Colburn is The A.V. Club's Internet Culture Editor. He lives in Chicago, occasionally writes plays, and was a talking head in Best Worst Movie, the documentary about Troll 2.