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Tinder for politics: How one app is engaging young voters

A new app is aiming to get people interested in politics by combining the swipe-abilty of Tinder and the open forum of Facebook into one experience.

Brigade, launched by former Facebook president Sean Parker, allows users to find out how their political values align with other users and get connected with advocacy groups and candidates with similar values.

Users can ask questions of their connections and share their political opinions, which is rare for a social networking site.

While many millennials are willing to share personal information on social media, they are less likely to share their thoughts about politics, Parker told Politico reporter Nancy Scola.

“(On Facebook) you obey a certain set of social rules on the kinds of things you share or don’t,” Parker said. “When it comes to your civic identity or your political identity or your charitable identity, frankly you don’t want to express that side of yourself on Facebook. It’s not the right medium to do it.”

The app is capitalizing on these political opinions people avoid posting elsewhere and combining it with a passion for community to hopefully repair the divide between voters and politicians, Alexander Howard reported for The Huffington Post.

“People don't love politics,” Brigade CEO Matt Mahan said. “They're pretty cynical and disillusioned about thr state of the political system right now. With everyone we talked to, it turned out they all have issues they care about, opinions, and they have a view on where they want to see the world go.”

Younger Americans are less likely to be attached to political parties and vote at lower rates, Ana Swanson reported for The Washington Post. This likely stems from the intense political quarrelling and economic hardships happening when they came of age.

“Even young Americans who consider themselves politically active may not do much more than vote every few years, sign an online petition once a year, or passive-aggressively unfriend people who express different political views on Facebook,” Swanson wrote.

While younger generations may be less politically involved, they are involved in their communities. Millennials are volunteering more in their communities than other generations, The Huffington Post reported.

Brigade hopes that by connecting users with political advocacy groups they will be able to connect their community engagement with political action.

“For all human beings, it makes more sense to talk about issues than parties — who cares about parties. Most people are more interested in solving issues,” Tufts professor Peter Levine told Swanson.

Email: sslade@deseretdigital.com, Twitter: shelbygslade.