People are being accused of 'wokefishing' on dating apps - here's what that means

Wokefishing is the new trend confusing online daters (Photo: Shutterstock)Wokefishing is the new trend confusing online daters (Photo: Shutterstock)
Wokefishing is the new trend confusing online daters (Photo: Shutterstock)

When using dating sites and apps, it’s easy to be caught out by a catfish - someone who isn’t exactly who they say they are.

But the latest trend tricking those looking for love is ‘wokefishing’ - so what is it and how do you spot it?

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What is “Wokefishing”?

Catfish are people who pretend to be someone they’re not online, often using fake pictures, or making up a completely different personality.

Wokefishing is a similar concept, but refers to someone who pretends to be “woke” when they are not.

The term ‘woke’ describes someone who is very aware of and involved in social issues, such as racial and social injustice.

It is generally used to refer to people with a progressive and liberal way of thinking, and who are tuned into the issues of today.

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In September 2017, the word ‘woke’ was even added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, which defines it as someone who is “aware of and actively attentive to important facts and issues”.

The term wokefishing was discussed by Serena Smith in an article for Vice.

Smith says: “‘Wokefishing’, put simply, is when people masquerade as holding progressive political views to ensnare potential partners.”

She explains that a wokefish “may at first present themselves as a protest-attending, sex-positive, anti-racist, intersectional feminist”, but in reality, “they don’t give a s**t”.

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How do you spot a wokefish?

When it comes to dating, most people are looking for someone who has morals and values that align with their own.

However dating apps make it easy for people to pretend to have values that align with yours even if that’s not the case - especially if you don’t meet them right away.

In her article, Smith suggests that to avoid dating a wokefish, you should make sure a person’s actions and words match up.

She says: “If a dude describes himself on Hinge as a “feminist”, pay close attention to how he actually treats women.”

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Kate MacLean, a dating expert at Plenty of Fish, told Dazed: “If you realise someone’s actions aren’t living up to what they’ve put on their dating profile, they aren’t practicing what they preach and might have just been jumping on the bandwagon of a hashtag for the sake of it.

“Don’t be afraid to trust your gut.”

Smith posed a question for wokefish in her article, saying: “If you’re a wokefish, it might genuinely be worth considering: why do I hold views that I’m too ashamed to publicly express?”

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