Dating Advice For Autistic People: I Cannot Recommend Hiki

I cannot recommend Hiki for anyone, alas.

Here is what I wrote in the fediverse soon after I joined Hiki:

Hiki does not seem to be set in a way that readily allows me to find the people who would like someone like me. For me, this is reminiscent of Tinder. My experience on Tinder was very shitty.

Boy! I did not realize how prophetic this would be. I had in fact forgotten about this little ditty until I started writing this article.

So, my time on Hiki is over. I was on it maybe one week? I wanted to wait about a month before giving my impression. However, they forced my hand. How? Read on and you’ll see.

Hiki is nominally an app for dating and for finding friends. All nice and well… however, the app is not really designed with location in mind. The the vast majority of people you’ll encounter are thousands of miles away from you. Long distance relationships are possible. I lived in Canada and my ex-wife lived in the US. Long distance is even easier with friendships. However, people going onto this app should know this.

In addition matching people, Hiki offers a forum for self-expression. You find there categories like “Dating”, “General”, “Music”, etc. You can create new threads, or reply to old threads. You can also reacts to posts with a thumbs up, a laughter emoji, a sad emoji, etc. However, when it comes to commenting, I quickly discovered that there’s a limit to how deep comments can be. You can comment on a post, comment on that comment, and comment again on the last comment, but cannot comment on this last comment again. This is highly annoying.

Overall, my experience on Hiki hasn’t changed my opinion about which app to use for dating. If you want to date and are into BDSM, or kinky, Feeld is the app to go with. If you are vanilla, go with OkCupid. Hiki is not even a contender. It does not matter if you are autistic or not. I’ll remind you that every single relationship I’ve had was with neurodivergent people. I found all of them elsewhere than on Hiki. You definitely can find people on the regular apps.

More importantly, these other apps have location in mind. Oh, if you want to find people in the whole wide world, have at it. However, if you want to find people locally, these app do provide the functionality you need. Hiki, in theory, allows the same thing, but I found that the people in my area were not active at all on the site. Either the accounts were fake, or real people created the accounts but never came back. Hiki moreover does not have any activity indicator. You don’t know whether someone created a profile, never to come back, or if they are mute but active. You can, however, see what they’ve posted in the forum, but that’s not a great proxy for knowing whether the person logged in or not.

So I did set a maximum distance for my matches, and an age range. Hiki allows you to specify if you are interested in love, friendship or both. It allows you also to specify if you are looking for man, woman, or non-binary. You can select more than one option for man, woman, or non-binary. This is it as far as filtering down the pool of potential matches goes.

What Hiki does not foster is specifying that you want in a mate. I’ve seen a lot of profiles that did not really specify what people wanted. Moreover, there is no notion of monogamy or non-monogamy in the match specifications. You land on a profile, and you do not know what the person wants. Are they monogamous, or non-monogamous? Who knows? I’ve probably tried to match with monogamous people. However, I had no occasion to know that they were monogamous.

I’d say that no matter what the corporation behind the product professes, Hiki is both heteronormative, and mononormative in the features it presents. No, having an LGBTQ+ forum does not make up for this. This forum is mostly for show. It reminds me of Bud Light hiring Dylan Mulvaney and then dumping her like a hot potato once a right winger says “boo.” Actions speak louder than words.

Moreover, Hiki presents you with matches in a way similar to what OkCupid does. You have a stack of prospects and you can like them or pass on them. Eventually the people in the stack come back, after a little delay. One thing that I found really annoying is that there were some people in my stack that were people I would never match with. OkCupid allows you to block those people. I found no corresponding functionality on Hiki.

Oh, Hiki allows you to block someone, but not from their profile. For one thing, they have to have posted. If they’ve made no post, you’re out of luck. Also, when you block someone on Hiki you block them from coming back in your matches, but you also block yourself from seeing their posts, or them from seeing yours. That’s not quite what I want. It would be useful to specify that you will never match with someone but are still fine seeing their posts. Again, I’ve not found any such functionality on Hiki.

I also know that if you block someone, it will prevent them from future interactions with you. However, it does nothing to past interactions. If you post something, and someone replies with a pat answer that show they haven’t read your post and you block them, their reply with remain. They are prevented from seeing your post any further, but it does not remove the shit they posted. Other people can still reply to their turd.

One thing worth noting is that if you interact a few times with someone, the app will, of its own volition, suggest that you select them for love or friendship. I found this very confusing. This is the only app on which I’ve seen this behavior. I’ve had to go into my settings and turn off “Show friend suggestion.” After I did this, the prompts stopped. At first, I wasn’t sure whether the app was doing this, or if I was responding to someone’s desire. The GUI does not make this plainly evident either. Frankly, this reeks of desperation on the app’s part.

I found two “friends” on the app. I have to say, however, that they are more “acquaintances” than “friends.” We barely talked. Our chat was pleasant but nothing earth-shattering. I did match with a lady for “love.” However, she proved to be a scammer, and her account is now deleted. I did not prove the scam. Someone else did, however, and talked about it.

There is a distinct streak against polyamory on this platform, that the moderators do nothing to contain. See my comments about heteronormativity and mononormativity above. In addition to my own case, a poor sod asked about women who might be into polyamory. He received one angry emoji, and a reply from someone who does not understand the first thing about polyamory.

Why am I gone from the app? I opened the app this morning, and I found that they now want me to verify my account. Well, they can go fuck themselves. Do you want to know how many platforms requested that I verify my account?

None.

Hiki is not so special that I want to verify my account with them. My time there wasn’t great. It is not worth my time trying to verify anything with them.

In the short time I spent there, what I saw is a community that has no issue with going after minorities. Coming from people who suffer every day at the hands of neurotypical people, I find this quite disheartening. That atmosphere there does validate the saying:

When a platform is shitty, the only people who are willing to put up with it are shitty people.

Oh, I’m sure that the powers that be over there are going to say something to the effect that, you know, community members reported this or that post of mine, and that they hands were tied. This is the plea of cowards. However, this plea also illustrates something. If your moderation is done by a community which is biased against minorities, you are going to have a moderation which is biased against minorities, and you thereby become biased against minorities. There is no escaping this. No matter how many bloody claims you make!

So it is impossible for me to recommend Hiki to anyone. I’ve had more success on Feeld, OkCupid, KinkD, and Discord (which is not even a dating app!). Shit… I’d probably find more success trying to date in the fediverse than on Hiki. They forced me to release an early review, but I really doubt that I would have a more positive review if I had stayed there a whole month. So Hiki now joins Tinder as a shitty dating app.

I’m not sure what they thought they were gaining by asking me for verification. I don’t suffer fools easily. My time there was shitty. So, yep, what they won is this review.

So long, and thanks for nothing, Hiki!


Bonus round: illustrating how naive the people on Hiki are.

A few days ago, I was liked by a woman on Feeld. I checked her profile and hypothesized that she was a fake. I explained my reasoning on Hiki, only to have people start questioning the wisdom of my observations. I kept the lady in my prospects but without liking her back. This way, I’d know what happens to her account.

Note that I did not have enough evidence to report her. What I had was a hunch. I could have passed on her right away but then I would not have known what happened to her account.

Well well well, she disappeared today. It is not possible on Feeld to retract a like. (OkCupid allows it, for instance.) There are only two explanations: either she was reported by someone else and they destroyed her account, or she destroyed it herself. Unfortunately, I cannot tell what actually happened. She had all the hallmarks of a scammer, so I’m betting someone reported her.

I said the people who were questioning my wisdom on Hiki were naive, but it is also possible that they were scammers just trying to discredit someone who has a clue.

Either way, it does not look good for Hiki!


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