As the newest dating app to hit the market, The Right Stuff, has been the subject of speculation and controversy since it launched on September 30, with members of its right-wing user base claiming that they had been contacted by the FBI after posting that they had been present at the Capitol Insurrection on January 6, 2021.
The conservative dating app, backed by PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, was launched at the end of September after an extensive marketing campaign in which it promised to be an alternative to the "woke" dating apps that currently exist.
Bringing like-minded people together
The listing for The Right Stuff on Apple's App Store claims that the dating site "brings people together with shared values and similar passions" and app designer Ryann McEnany, sister of former White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, said that she designed the invite-only site in an attempt to "help young conservatives find people that see the world the right way."
Upon receiving an invitation to join the app, users may create a profile, answering a series of prompts designed to present them with the best matches. However, one of these prompts has users questioning whether or not they are actually interacting in the protected right-wing space they were promised, after rumors about FBI involvement began to surface.
The wait is finally over! pic.twitter.com/8POlHDRyYS— The Right Stuff (@daterightstuff) September 30, 2022
One of the many prompts listed in the app invited people to share their thoughts on the January 6, 2021 Capitol Riots, in which hundreds of supporters of then-president Donald Trump stormed the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC in protest of his electoral defeat.
Are the FBI behind the January 6th prompt?
However, according to one anonymous reviewer, shortly after answering the prompt he found himself answering the phone to a call from the FBI.
Detailing the events in a one-star review on the App Store, the user wrote "I said I was there [at the Capitol] because I was, I’m patriotic and that’s why I’m on this dating app. I’m using this app for a few evening[s] and is it a coincidence I got a call from an FBI agent on the SAME DAY???
"Seriously, what stunt are they trying to pull? Whoever developed this has to be deep state setting us up… I came here to find love, not a damn warrant.”
The user was not the only one to voice this complaint, as the description of another one-star review read "I answered the question about January 6th honestly and the next day I have two police officers at my door telling me that they got a call alleging that I was involved in domestic terrorism???
"This app was clearly created by Democrats as a way to subvert our constitutional rights as conservative Americans," the review concluded. "Do not use this app unless you want to be harassed by left-wing fascists.”
Another App Store review cautioned users against sharing sensitive information in their dating profiles, saying that "some of the questions/answers that you can add to your profile look like stuff the FBI would like to know," adding that they had concerns with the app's decision to operate on an invite-only system, saying that "it doesn’t tell you that you need an invite until after you’ve uploaded and shared a bunch of personal info."
Bad reviews and bad press
Since its launch, the app has gained a rating of just 2.1 out of 5 on the App Store, with the majority of complaints echoing the aforementioned concern over the invitation system.
"I went to check this app out. Honestly, why make you go through so many steps and be almost done and it says INVITE ONLY? And they want me to give access to all of my contacts? I don’t want anyone I know getting invited or being invited to join this app just so I can create my own profile," wrote one would-be-user.
A three-star review added to this, saying: "I understand why the app is 'invite only' as liberals can’t seem to grasp the concept of human decency. But at the same time, it completely defeats the purpose of creating easier access to like-minded people."
In response to a request from tech website Gizmodo for comment on the January 6th profile prompt, a spokesperson for The Right Stuff said that “the claims that users were contacted by the FBI or that we forwarded the information to law enforcement are completely false,” adding that "our prompts are used as fun conversation starters where users can share their personality through their opinions.”