On November 9th, news broke about a new app called Rumblr, which was described as the Tinder for fighting. The basic premise was that you could browse the profiles of other people near your location, insult them and incite them to a good, old fashioned, street brawl. The time and location of the fight would be broadcast via th app, so the general population of complete idiots could come and watch the action.
Something about the app seemed too bizarre to be true, so I held off posting a blog on it. The app had a website, an apparent round of investors, and it was covered by hundreds of online and print media publications. There was open debate on the legality of this app. After all, fighting is a form of assault, and carries a criminal penalty. Watching or inciting violence carries it's own charges. The app even allowed for women to fight, and whether it allowed a man to fight a woman for others' amusement, remained a bit unclear.
The app allowed people to sign up for the beta, and from early accounts, thousands did. It seemed there was a real market for something like this.
Thankfully, it turns out the entire idea was a marketing stunt by a new company made up of self-proclaimed college dropouts. The app was a stunt to prove they could create a brand and get worldwide attention with it. In that sense, I suppose they succeeded. However, I hardly consider that an endorsement of the company, as any fool with an idea that seems so outrageous, repulsive or illegal, is certain to get press coverage. Let's see you market a new brand of kitty litter, and we'll talk.
A collective sigh of relief then? Perhaps, but the many who signed up for the beta is a testament to the fact that there's a market for something as terrible as an app that helps you commit assault, or lets you watch a crime in progress for your amusement. That should have been the real story here.