Love under an algorithm: an embarrassing documentary for the dating lobby

L Amour Sous Algorithme

Love under Algorithm appears as the most exhilarating documentary ever imagined about a dating application . Freely adapted from the eponymous book by journalist Judith Duportail, whose investigation shook Tinder in 2019, this documentary directed by Jérôme Clément-Wilz defies the technical laws of the most profitable application in the Apple Store and thus makes the observation of our contemporary loves at the time of #metoo and the health crisis.

A shocking and ultra-rehearsed investigation

If, on paper, Tinder prides itself on being a progressive and committed company, the reality is quite different. Discrimination , misogyny , stereotypes , sexism ... On closer inspection, enforcement is the queen of gender norms, male gaze and inequality. How is it that nobody has ever rubbed it?

The woman who dared to challenge Tinder, ” headlined The Times . It took a journalist as strong and reckless as Judith Duportail , who for the purposes of her investigation, braved the threats and lobbies of a hyper-powerful multinational, to recover the patent of the application but also the some eight hundred pages of dialogues induced by its four years of regular use.

In her book L'Amour sous Algorithme , published by Editions Goutte d'Or in 2019, this Carrie Bradshaw 2.0 explains how she managed to recover all the data collected about her by Tinder, in order to dissect her meetings, her refusals , its attempts, its failures… and thus crack the application's best-kept secrets.

A director addicted to social issues

Like the book before it, this super-documentary sheds light on how Tinder works and explores its impact on our private lives. Brilliantly directed by Jérôme Clément-Wilz , a lover of shocking documentaries on social phenomena such as alcoholism with Voyage au cœur de l'alcoolisme , clandestine parties with When everyone sleeps , religion or, here, sexuality, Love under Algorithm comes in line with other disturbing achievements of the cinephile.

This rather terrifying film retraces a banal encounter of the 21st century, through an appointment given on Tinder by a woman. This 50-minute mini-documentary owes its effectiveness to its soundtrack, imagined by Rone , master of electronic music, and to its futuristic decor, filmed at the Espace Niemeyer in the 19th arrondissement of Paris.

The pitch of a meeting

The documentary dissects in particular one of his encounters, carefully recorded by the app: the famous “ Match 664 ”. It is 8:45 a.m. on February 22, 2017, when Judith decides to chat on Tinder: “ Bring me back a coffee and an orgasm ”, she sends him.

We then plunge dizzily into the inner and fantasized universe of this outstanding user, between her doubts, her hopes, her fears but also her many questions: “ Will he find me cool? Is it particularly beautiful or simply photogenic? ”… So many questions that inevitably run through the heads of app users.

Algorithmician, sociologist, CEO of a dating app, professor, data journalist… Specialists then look into “ the Judith case ” to unearth its best-kept secrets. For the record, the “ match 664 ” will be consumed. As for orgasm, we'll come back...

Love under algorithm, available on francetv


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