‘He super-liked me just to say that’
An Edinburgh Law student has been racially abused on Tinder after matching with a fellow student who sent her messages saying “George Floyd” and “fit” in the middle of the night before incoherently apologising.
Liv Yeneka, a fourth-year student at Edinburgh, said the messages were “horrific”. After super-liking Liv on the app, he sent her three messages saying “George Floyd”, “fit”, and then hours later, “I’m actually so sorry that’s awful behaviour I absolutely sorry”.
Liv saw the messages and responded: “Don’t worry I’m sure the vet department will love to see this. It’s not just awful behaviour, it’s racist behaviour.” The male student, who studies Veterinary Science, then blocked her on Tinder.
“It’s pretty horrific. He super-liked me just to match me and tell me my profile was ‘George Floyd fit’, as if being racist wasn’t already grossly offensive, it’s really twisted referring to a dead black man who deserves respect. He probably thought it was hilarious. As for the apology, I don’t know why he bothered. It reads as it looks – meaningless – with the concern of being caught out.”
Liv says this is not the first time she’s seen this happen, and that the reality of being a BAME person on a dating app is “exhausting”. The Facebook page Edibamefessions frequently shows examples of the messages that non-white Edinburgh students receive that are routinely racist and fetishistic.
“Considering the dating world is predominately online right now, we don’t get the same experience as white people,” Liv told The Tab. “As a black woman, I constantly worry about what my matches are thinking. Did they match me because they’ve ‘never been with a black girl’? Could I open Tinder and be stunned with an overtly racist message? Could they be racially abusive in real life and I just don’t know it yet?
“Although dating through a screen has an element of desensitisation, people forget that BAME people are humans, with their own feelings and sadly for some of us, our own racial trauma. The world has taught us to date with our guard up.”
A spokesperson for Edinburgh University said: “The University is committed to promoting a positive culture which celebrates difference, challenges prejudice and ensures fairness. Our Code of Student Conduct sets out clear expectations of behaviour. The University regards any incident of discrimination as a serious matter and will respond promptly to formal complaints, and where appropriate take disciplinary action.”