LOS ANGELES — Justin Mateen, co-founder and chief marketing officer of the dating app Tinder, was fired Monday for “molesting” the app’s coding.
In a lawsuit issued by his fellow male executives, Mateen has been accused of “directing the most popular female users to his Tinder profile without our consent. Mateen used his matchless coding skills for his personal gain as a sexually deprived entrepreneur, which in this case actually ran counter to the interests of the entire company.”
Mateen rigged the app in such a way that the most popular female profiles would automatically deflect chat initiations from their most popular male counterparts, including other male executives at Tinder.
As a result, Tinder’s most attractive female users have been forced to interact almost exclusively with Mateen.
Shawna, a 20-year-old student at U.C.L.A. and popular Tinder profile, described her app experience. “I kept swiping left, trying to deny him. But every time I did that, his photo kept returning, like a pop-up. Then, when I tried swiping right, it just pulled up this dick pic that was clearly not his.”
Mateen was already on leave after Whitney Wolfe, Tinder’s only female co-founder, accused him of sexually harassing her. In a lawsuit filed against the company, Wolfe claims Mateen repeatedly called her a “whore” and a “liberal lying desperate slut.” Wolfe also alleges Mateen understated her role as a creative in the company—Mateen told her that a female co-founder “makes the company seem like a joke.”
Still, Tinder’s male executives insist that Mateen’s more troubling actions concern his unlicensed tampering with the app. A spokesperson at Tinder commented: “When Mateen tampered with our coding, he abused our software. When he sexually harassed Whitney Wolfe, he abused our hardware. As a startup software company, we have to protect our software first.”