Teens launch Tinder-style politics app for general election
- Credit: Nigel Sutton
Two teenage schoolboys have created a Tinder-style smartphone app, linked to politicians’ Twitter accounts, to engage young people with politics ahead of the general election.
Friends Freddie Poser, 14, and Zak Cutner, 16, yesterday launched free app Votr, billed as “politics for the Twitter generation”, on the iTunes App Store.
Zak, a Year 11 pupil at University College School (UCS) in Hampstead, and Westminster School pupil Freddie are keen amateur coders and designed the app together for a youth coding competition.
The app links to Twitter accounts belonging to MPs and parliamentary candidates and enables users to pick their constituency and then flick through tweets from politicians standing in that constituency.
The tweets are anonymised and all references to political parties are removed.
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Freddie said: “It makes it about the candidate and not the party to see whether you’re agreeing with the candidate rather than the party. It’s supposed to get around pre-conceptions.”
The friends, who both live in St John’s Wood, liken Votr to Tinder, the matchmaking app that has swept across the globe.
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“Once you’ve got your tweets from politicians, you sweep right to like; left to dislike and up to pass,” said Freddie.
“It’s like Tinder. The idea is that once you’ve got enough tweets, it gives you an idea about who you agree with the most. For people who don’t vote, it’s to try to engage them with politics.”
Freddie and Zak came up with the idea for Votr after discovering a survey conducted by the Electoral Commission which found that young people have difficulty accessing information about their parliamentary candidates.
“We thought because Twitter is so popular with young people we could integrate it with local parliamentary candidates,” said Zak.
“We are both self-taught coders. We both learned programming a few years ago but we’d never published anything properly so we wanted to have a go at doing something.”
Votr is available to download for Android handsets on the Google Play store. For iOS handsets, it can be downloaded in the iTunes App Store.
To find out more about the app, go to getvotr.uk