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  • Writer's pictureCaro Solari

Viewers react strongly as the “Tinder Swindler” celebrates his new fame

Updated: Jul 7, 2022

On Feb. 2nd, the celebrity world just welcomed a new persona. That day saw the premiere of the 2-hour Netflix documentary about the Tinder Swindler and all of a sudden it seems that the world kind of fell for Shimon Chayut. Or Simon Leviev. Or Michael Biton. Or David Sharon. Well, you get the idea.

Netflix presented the 31-years old, whose credits include serving two jail terms already and being wanted in three countries, and it worked for them. The program quickly hit the top ten in viewership in most of the 92 Netflix territories. Apparently, it also worked for the swindler himself, who has since then hooked up with a talent agency and is already selling $200 personalized greetings and $2,000 business videos on Cameo.

Proving that “there’s no such thing as bad publicity”, and despite the swindler being banned from all of the top dating apps, it seems that he is on the rise. People wondering where Simon Leviev is now, following his Netflix exposure, should worry no more: the swindler is here to stay. Netflix is considering turning this story into a drama series while in the meantime they have released a special three-part podcast on the topic.

Affogata tracked and analyzed close to 10,000 viewers' reactions to the documentary (Feb. 8th-20th), as it demonstrated how the swindler turned into a worldwide cultural phenomenon. Online discussions drifted also into other topics, covering such aspects as the victims’ empathy, the tinder backlash as well as comparing the documentary to another new Netflix series, Inventing Anna.

Overall, negative mentions ruled 2:1 over the positive ones. Disdain for the swindler led the charge inside the negative mentions, while viewers commenting on how much they enjoyed the show represented 42% of all positive discussions. The “joy” viewers showed was diverse, as they held a tone of both awe and disbelief. However, there were Twitter discussions surrounding the swindling actions where fans showed their frustration with the three conned women’s gullibility. Commentators criticized the three women with a resounding 30:8 ratio, blaming their actions vs. those who showed empathy for them.

Tinder also suffered backlash as a result of the documentary. Fans were calling for the app to expose the swindler’s address or remove him from the platform altogether. A day after the program aired, Tinder and other apps banned his accounts almost immediately. Viewers commenting harshly on Mr. Leviev’s actions contributed to him disappearing from all online platforms.

Consumers had also commented on the swindler’s rise to fame, but in small amounts. Negative mentions revolved around his new celebrity status despite his previous short jail terms while fans were also critical of the fact that he is currently walking free.

Finally, debuting on Feb. 11th with just nine days passing from the premiere of the documentary, the new drama “Inventing Anna” drew around 8% of all “Tinder Swindler” mentions. Those commenting on the series made comparisons between the two scammers, Leviev and convicted con artist Anna Sorkin, whom “Inventing Anna” is based upon. Some were arguing on who was the “more successful thief” or what would happen if both of them would date each other.

Affogata tracks, monitors and analyzes consumer insights from all over the open web and internal sources, serving businesses with actionable insights regarding their brands. The analysis covers all key consumer issues and assists businesses in evaluating their real-time advantages, problem areas, brand sentiment, and competition situation.

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