Campaigners use Tinder to teach airline passengers how to stop a deportation
This Valentines day, campaign group Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants (LGSMigrants) has launched Tinder bots to teach passengers how to stop deportations on their flights.
Hundreds of passengers across the UK are expected to be contacted with an automated script which will provide a step-by-step guide for how to prevent a deportation on their flight.
The bot uses the Tinder profiles of real people concerned about deportations. Users download a Chrome extension which automatically changes their Tinder location to a nearby airport.
Once the bot matches with passengers it runs an interactive script which responds to questions and directs them to an online guide.
Airlines including British Airways deport thousands of people every year on commercial flights.
Last July, Swedish student Elin Errson successfully stopped the deportation of an Afghan man by refusing to take her seat on a flight leaving from Gothenburg Airport. ,Inspired by this and similar actions, LGSMigrants is empowering more people to recognise when a deportation is taking place and provide them with the steps to they need to stop it.
Sam Björn, a spokesperson for LGSMigrants, says: “This Valentine’s Day, British Airways needs to swipe left and end its toxic relationship with the Home Office’s brutal deportations.
“Tinder is an app that brings people together which is why we wanted to use it to highlight how deportations tears communities apart. British Airways and other airlines carry out deportations which force people to countries where they have few connections, and could face persecution or death.”
NOTES FOR EDITORS
For further comments, please contact Sam Björn on firstname.lastname@example.org or 07801212968.
Screenshots of Tinder conversations are available to download here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/137121969@N04/albums/72157676488634967
LGSMigrants are using the tool Volt, which helps activists use tinder to get the vote out. Volt was set up by Charlotte Goodman and Yara Rodrigues Fowler during the 2017 General Election.
After pressure from LGSMigrants and others, Virgin Atlantic cancelled their contract for deportations with the Home Office. Now the group is calling on British Airways and other airlines to follow suit. Two weeks ago the group stormed the Airline Industry’s annual gala to tell British Airways’ CEO to end the company’s contract with the Home Office.
Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants are a group of queer activists who stand in solidarity with all migrants and refugees. Through fundraising and creative direct action, they fight back against the hostile environment and reject racist narratives that pit queer communities and migrants against one another. Inspired by the 1980s group Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners, made famous by the film Pride, they build on a proud history of queer solidarity to say: no one is illegal. See www.lgsmigrants.com for more information. Twitter: @lgsmigrants ; www.facebook.com/lgsmigrants