Hit it and Quit it? New ‘Swipe Right’ Hook Up App “Scrap” Encourages Users to Meet for Casual Street Fights
Scrap is a social application that connects users so they can engage in fisticuffs. While it may seem like a super volcano for potential lawsuits, Scrap has been wildly successful since its release last month. The user base is increasing exponentially, creating versions of Fight Club throughout the country.
To clarify the comparison, the only thing Scrap users do is fight. As far as we now, they have no plans to take down the entire system.
All you need to download the app is a smartphone, and a valid email address or Facebook account to register. Upload a few photos and a quick bio, including the typical UFC tale of the tape; Age, height, weight, and reach(optional), and you are ready to get it on.
The setup is simple and familiar, following the same template as the popular dating app “Tinder”. Once your profile is set up, you begin swiping. Left on people you want no part of, and right on those you feel an instinctual need to punch in the face. If the feeling is mutual, you will be connected through an instant messaging feature, at which point you are free to exchange fighting words.
Critics are quick to point out that the growth of Scrap will be its demise. You cannot legally create a forum that encourages physical violence, or so they say. Assault is illegal after all. Yet, Scrap continues its meteoric rise due to one simple rule, users do not talk about the fights or report other users to law enforcement. Sounds an awful lot like the first rule of Fight Club.
It certainly has the numbers, but are people actually fighting? We caught up with two registered users of Scrap, both of whom have participated in fist fights with people they met through the app.
“I’ve fought all my friends.” Tyler laughs, and explains how he built a whole new social circle around the app. “It reminds me of that quote from Fight Club. After fighting, everything else in your life got the volume turned down.” his sentiments are not unusual. Most scrappers feel a sense of camaraderie around the act of fighting. “It’s a naughty thing, fighting. But it’s also really fun.”
“Loser buys the beer.” Edward says, relaying his favorite opening line. “It’s the Scrapper equivalent to; Hey! You wanna fuck? Straight to the point.” he explains that the fights aren’t always as irresponsible as they seem. Despite lacking paramedics and a proper sanctioning body, most of the fights have agreed on rules. “We set the time, place, gear, all that. It sure beats going out and picking fights with randoms who may not even want to fight.” a majority of users even wear protective gloves while they fight.
Tyler and Edward preach the app’s benefits, citing a sense of community and a release of tension that is unrivaled. Every user we spoke to while researching this piece brought up the social aspect of Scrap, despite fighting’s anti social nature. It hurts and leaves bruises, but it also seems to bond people in an intimate way. Take the case of Tyler and Edward, who were each others’ first.
“I almost didn’t go through with it. Everything about it seemed sketch, but I really needed it.” Tyler recalls, reflecting on his very first Scrap.
“I was numb. Just really wanted wanted to feel something again.” Edward says.
“Did it work?” I ask.
“Hell yes.” he says. “When you fight, you never forget it. No matter how boring your life is, one fight will spice it right up.”
The owners of Scrap report that roughly half of its user base is between the ages of 18-30, but say they’ve received feedback from users as old as 60. While a good portion of users join out of curiosity and never actually use the app for its intended purpose, many do. The stories are bubbling up everywhere, about Scrappers fighting in backyards, parks, and basements. The obvious question, is how long will it last?
“Is it dangerous?” I ask Tyler.
“Certainly. It’s fighting.”
“Why do you do it if it’s dangerous?”
“I enjoy it. There is nothing like being in a fight.”
“And what happens when someone dies in a Scrap fight?” I ask.
“We’ll call him Robert Paulson.”
Tyler grins, his attitude reflective of someone with nothing to lose. He doesn’t speak for the company, nor is he associated with it. Scrap didn’t respond to our requests for comment, so the question goes unanswered. A fitting metaphor considering there is no one there to answer for the destruction Scrap initiates.
Tyler and Edward recount their best stories about fight nights, and riff about the tough guy posers who flock to the app.
“I know how to spot them now, they’re the worst.” Tyler says. “I matched with one dude who said he was a golden gloves boxer, and also claimed an 88-0 street fighting record. The first thing he messaged me was; Hey bitch. I’ll fuck you up.” Tyler says they agreed on a time and place, and the guy no showed. “The next day, he sends me a message saying he overdosed on pills and had a heart attack, but still wants to beat my ass. I had to unmatch him at that point.”
“An indecipherable chest tattoo, last names and area codes on the upper back or stomach are common. Skinny guy abs, shirtless selfies with a rifle or handgun.” Edward chimes in, listing the traits of your typical Scrap flake. “He will talk a load of trash, compare himself to professional fighters, respond incoherently, and he will not show up to fight you.” we finish up our chat, and I head out.
It surprised me that people actually used the app, and that they all seemed relatively normal. The fighting was the aspect that pulled them in, but they stuck around for the crew. Tyler and Edward meet weekly for drinks with other friends they’ve met on Scrap.