DNC Warns Campaign Staffers to Swipe Left Amid Espionage Concerns

Illustration for article titled DNC Warns Campaign Staffers to Swipe Left Amid Espionage Concerns
Photo: Leon Neal (Getty Images)

The Democratic Party sent out an email blast to staffers on Wednesday urging them to “swipe carefully” on dating apps because undercover political opponents could be trying to slide into their DMs to gather dirt for the campaign, according to a CNN report.

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“We’ve received reports that opposition groups may be trying to ‘sting’ or infiltrate Democratic campaigns or organizations through dating sites,” an email from DNC security officials warned members of the campaign, per the outlet. The message continued:

“Don’t put anything out there that you wouldn’t mind the opposition seeing. This includes video calls, text messages, emails, photos, or DMs - imagine that it was on the front page of the NYTimes...Notice when people are asking you more than a few questions about the election, the campaign, the candidate, and the opposition. Are they actually curious, or might they be pumping you for information? Think twice about saying things that could be taken out of context to the detriment of our collective efforts.”

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The email didn’t cite what specific opposition groups may be using this tactic, so it’s not clear if a particular incident on any particular dating app triggered the warning. Nor does it specify whether campaign staffers have fallen for such an embarrassing trap in the past. A DNC spokesperson said in a statement to multiple outlets that this kind of warning is nothing new, and that campaign staffers are regularly reminded to “stay vigilant” when interacting with strangers on the internet and notified of where bad actors may be lurking online.

So this could either be a routine security bulletin or evidence that some DNC staffer seriously fucked up by being a little too chatty on their dating app du jour after matching with an undercover agent from across the aisle.

Sad as it is to say, social media platforms have been no stranger to political disinformation campaigns and attempts to hack elections worldwide in recent years. But cracking a campaign’s security through horniness? Now that’s something I’ve never heard of before. And if we’ve learned anything about 2020 so far, it’s a year full of firsts, so caution is warranted. Because after all, do we really want a booty call to be the thing that undermines the democratic process this November?

Gizmodo weekend editor. Freelance games reporter. Full-time disaster bi.

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