'Tinder Trap' left us all a bit... confused

An Instagram model, a crowd of men thinking they were on a date—and then competing with each other for that date, and now said model is the victim, after facing backlash from the “social experiment.” Confused? It gets worse.

According to the New York Post, model Natasha Aponte and “viral video” marketer Rob Bliss paid overseas workers to match with over 7,000 men on Tinder over the course of two years, leading up to the event in Manhattan. 

Aponte rode into the gathering in a white limo to tell a crowd of men that they were all there to be on a date with her, and would compete through physical challenges to win. Very bachelorette-esque, but without the rose—and a lot more bizarre.

The New York Post reported, “most of the men look confused or bemused, but at least a handful participated in the bizarre competition.”

In the video posted by Rob Bliss, the awkward silence and shouts of things like “BS" are heard from the crowd. 

"Let's start a conversation," Aponte says—but comments are disabled on the video, and it only has 274,721 views. 

Round one was based on physical preferences. She went on to list things that would disqualify the men from winning a date including: being under 5 foot 10, beer bellies, beards, bald guys, khakis, the name “Jimmy” and more disqualified many of the men in the crowd.

There was a physical test for the remaining hopefuls that included pushups and running. They lined up–willingly–to let her say, “swipe left” or “swipe right” to their faces and into a microphone.

So, what could possibly be the point of this? The demonstration was meant to show the faults of online dating, including how apps like Tinder are based on judgments of physical appearance.

Naturally, there was backlash at the event and on social media, but Aponte maintains that she is the victim of the incident. “I am taking all the hits right now,” she said on Good Morning America. “It’s funny because all of the negative that I’m getting from these guys, [they] are still in my inboxes trying to date me.”

Many took to twitter voicing their outrage and support of the experiment.

"For those who don't know, men have feelings too. It's just that no one cares," David Stehle said. "If a man tricked hundreds of women, no one would call it a "prank," there would be outrage!" 

"I think everyone who capitulated this, the DJ she hired, the girls working as ushers, the men working as body guards, need to be named and categorized as damaged goods for life alongside both David Bliss and Natasha Aponte. This is super-villain level insanity," Chad Hutchings said, responding to Stehle. (We can support his fair point and forgive him for using David Bliss, instead of Rob Bliss.) 

"I reserve the right to not date anyone I don't want to based on whatever qualifications I choose," reporter Kelly Anderson said, quoting the New York Post article. 

"Can you imagine if genders in the Tinder Trap experiment were flipped and it was one dude bringing 100s of women and saying they all needed to battle for a date with him? People would be at viral war with men as a whole right now. But since it's flipped, it's okay? #DoubleStandard," Blake Whitehouse said. 

Is this viral campaign valid? Is it completely insane? Tweet us your thoughts at @HerCampusWVU.