The findings underline a 2017 Pew Research Center survey that revealed 21% of women ages 18 to 29 have experienced sexual harassment online, with 83% saying online harassment is a serious problem. This kind of harassment, meanwhile, is magnified for women and people of color, who also face racial discrimination on the platforms.

Race-based preferences in dating were highlighted back in 2014 in a blog post by OkCupid co-founder Christian Rudder, who noted that data collected from heterosexual users showed that most men on the site rated black women as less attractive than women of other races and ethnicities, while Asian men fell at the bottom of the preference list for women. That same year, Ari Curtis used the study as a starting point for her blog “Least Desirable,” which chronicled her experiences of dating as a minority with “stories of what it means to be a minority not in the abstract, but in the awkward, exhilarating, exhausting, devastating and occasionally amusing reality that is the pursuit of love.”

Earlier this year, Curtis shared with NPR some of the racial stereotyping she faced in real-life dates she set up via dating apps. She described meeting a white man on Tinder who brought the weight of damaging racial stereotypes to their date. “He was like, ‘Oh, so we have to bring the ‘hood out of you, bring the ghetto out of you!'” Curtis recounted. “It made me feel like I wasn’t enough, who I am wasn’t what he expected, and that he wanted me to be somebody else based on my race.”

Aziz Ansari gracefully parodied this and other aspects of dating-app culture in season two of Master of None, where the dozen or so women he takes out describe their experiences using dating apps, which span from the very dull to the truly vile. He also highlighted the other side of online dating that the slapstick narrative is attempting to dispel—that sometimes a bad date is just a wash. Not only is it boring and awkward, but it can be a total waste of time.

So, as dating apps undergo their identity crises, they will likely continue pressing on audiences the idea of bad dates as Adam Sandler–worthy catastrophes. It remains to be seen if users will be swept up in the campaign or if they’ll have the fortitude to see their own crappy dates for what they are—an occasionally amusing ordeal, but more often a prosaic waste of time.

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