"no banglas, no maids, no uglies"
A Singaporean dating app that prides itself on racism is now available to download on Apple’s App Store.
CNBC reports that founder of HighBlood, Herbert Eng, had first landed himself in hot water in March when he posted a Facebook advert that said, “no banglas, no maids, no uglies … Just. Pure. Quality. Like You.”
“Banglas” is a derogatory term for Bangladeshi workers in Singapore and “maids” refers to domestic helpers in the country.
HighBlood Co-founder, Kylie Teo, told CNBC that she was shocked by the Facebook post.
“The ad was Herbert’s obsession with outrage marketing, he wanted people to face the controversies of society because he was rejected from society,” Teo said, adding that Eng had been “rejected by girls online and he’s been catfished.”
She strongly believes in Eng’s vision and sees the positive impact of the viral post. “Bad media is still media,” she said.
Eng has since taken down the ad and issued a public apology, “I humbly apologize if you had taken offense at our post”. However, the post has been proudly shown on the Eng’s Medium page under the title “Single facebook post got my startup viral coverage across the world”.
HighBlood announced that the app would go into public beta on Friday but was initially rejected by Apple’s App Store moderators due to a “technicality” according to Eng.
“One of the regulations was that submitted apps cannot ‘objectify people,'” Eng said in an email to CNBC.
However, the decision was since reversed, making the app available to some iPhone users. The app is set to be “released into the wild” next week according to Eng, referring to iOS and Android users.
Eng insists that his app is “not racist” and that the discriminatory elements of the app are “a bit of mischief on [his] part”. He added that the app administrators “will not filter maids, banglas or uglies”, but if not enough existing users vote for a newcomer to join HighBlood, the newcomer would have to pay $20 to join.
HighBlood allows users to swipe and filter “based on income, profession and prestige schools” according to their website.