The first reviews of the recently launched, self-branded “conservative dating app,” The Right Stuff are in. And things aren’t looking so good for the Peter Thiel-funded company. Of the 197 reviews currently posted in the iOS store, nearly 60 give the app a one-star rating.
Some common reviewer complaints include that the app is short on women, that the invite-only system makes it impossible to actually join, and that answering a profile prompt about January 6 led to contact from law enforcement.
“App asks about January 6th... I said I was there because I was, I’m a patriot...I get a call from an FBI agent the SAME DAY????,” reads one review from a user under the name “Big Chungus.” Another claims that, after creating a Right Stuff profile, police officers showed up at the user’s home, alleging they were “involved in domestic terrorism.”
In a more mild complaint, one user asserts that “all the women on here have been replaced with doughy middle-aged white guys.” A problem the company seemed to want to get ahead of in its advertising, by highlighting a 100% very real and authentic “group of conservative young women.”
To be fair, many of these app store reviews are obvious trolls, and there is no evidence that the FBI or any police force has actually contacted Right Stuff users. Also, lots of the knocks about the alleged lack of women are cloaked in some thick homophobia.
But what is true is that the app does actually ask users to respond to an open-ended prompt about January 6—you know, to add a little spice to the profile. Gizmodo verified that the question appears in the profile creation phase of setting up an account. And it’s very easy to imagine people present the day of the Capitol riot entering self-indicting information into that blank white box.
Parler, a more prominent right-wing social media platform, did in fact send evidence and user information to the FBI in the lead-up to the Jan. 6 Capitol attack (though the FBI apparently didn’t heed those warnings). So there is a precedent for this type of thing.
But in response to Gizmodo’s questions about the app and the posted reviews, the FBI’s National Press Office simply emailed that, “We have no comment to provide in response to your inquiry.” The agency also directed Gizmodo to the D.C. District Attorney’s office site, where there is a webpage documenting the ongoing investigation and arrests made related to the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection.
A Right Stuff spokesperson said, “The claims that users were contacted by the FBI or that we forwarded information to law enforcement are completely false,” in an email to Gizmodo.
When asked why the app specifically prompts users to talk about Jan. 6, the company wrote, “Our prompts are used as fun conversation starters where users can share their personality through their opinions.”
Finally, addressing some of the more earnest-seeming, common complaints, Right Stuff’s spokesperson told Gizmodo: “The app is invite only to ensure a high quality community of conservative users.”