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Now You Won't Get Catfished on Tinder by a Fake James Franco

The Tinder elite are here, and they have blue check marks to prove it.
The apparent James Franco profile. Image: Mandi Gorenstein

James Franco is an internet dawg of record, and his flirtations on Instagram involving an underage girl are well-documented. If Mr. I Sell Literal Air Because Artsends you a message on a social media platform that supports a verification system, you'll know it's him by the blue checkmark that graces his profile, if nothing else.

But if you both swipe right on Tinder, how can you be sure that it's Franco you've matched with and not a clever bot or a poser? Thanks to Tinder's newly announced verification system for celebrities and "notable" people using the app, there will be no more doubt.


This, by the way, will actually be pretty helpful because James Franco is most likely on Tinder, as if there was any real doubt to begin with.

How do I know? Because Motherboard producer Mandi Gorenstein matched with a profile seemingly maintained by Franco on Tinder while swiping around in Brooklyn one day earlier this year. So did her friend, Sarah. It was weird, and they couldn't be sure it was him.

A blue checkmark would have made her "more confident"

"At first I thought it was some guy posing, but actually it wasn't," Sarah told me. I can't really tell you why, but I felt that it wasn't." His photos were personal and "borderline kinky," Sarah said, which gave her the impression that it was in fact the star. He also unmatched her, which is some cold shit.

A blue checkmark indicating that Franco was legit would have made her feel "more confident" and "more open to seeing where it went," she said.

Gorenstein also said it was a confusing experience apparently matching with Franco. "I remember my friend matched him too and we were trying to figure out if it was actually him," she said. But she had personal experience to rely on. "I had seen him earlier in the summer reading poetry with Patti Smith. He fell asleep on stage."

Tinder has been talking about verifying celebrities on the app for a while, and not just so people can be sure when they're matching up with Drake—who, I have a strong feeling, is too shy for the online hookup game anyway.


When Tinder CEO Sean Rad announced at last year's SXSW that the app would start verifying celebrities, he said it was because famous people actually get fewer right swipes because people assume it's a prank.

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According to a Tinder representative, the precious blue checkmark of eminent online power is currently reserved for people like celebrities and athletes, but anybody can apply to be verified by emailing and pleading your case. Even if you don't get in on the first wave, you can be added to a wait list.

And I think we can all agree that waiting is a small price to pay for shooting into the upper echelons of the swiping elite, far away from the dick pics and rote sup-s of the unwashed Tinder masses.