You’d have to be punchy not to rum­ble Rum­blr

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - MEDIA& MARKETING -

WASH­ING­TON: Rum­blr, the “Tin­der for fight­ing”, prom­ises to bring fight club straight to your smart­phone screen. When the app launches on Mon­day, its founders prom­ise, it will let users sched­ule con­sen­sual, recre­ational fights with lo­cal strangers for free.

The app has been cov­ered by the likes of Ven­ture Beat, Busi­ness In­sider and New York mag­a­zine. The New York Daily News re­ported on Sun­day that pri­vate in­vestors were lin­ing up to fund it.

There’s only one prob­lem with the Rum­blr hype: there’s no way that the app is real. In fact, it looks far more likely that we are be­ing trolled by a couple of pre­co­cious teenagers.

Let’s start with the app’s most ob­vi­ous prob­lem: its ques­tion­able le­gal­ity. “Rum­blr Inc” sup­pos­edly has its head­quar­ters in New York, where street fight­ing can be pros­e­cuted as dis­or­derly con­duct – at the very least.

New York state law al­lows for cer­tain types of or­gan­ised, con­sen­sual fight­ing – as in box­ing or karate. That means that, if you’re in a high school wrestling tour­na­ment and your op­po­nent is killed in a freak accident, you are not crim­i­nally re­spon­si­ble for that. And if some­one breaks into your home, you’re not re­spon­si­ble for their in­juries: you can claim self-de­fence.

But crim­i­nal at­tor­neys say that is not the case when it comes to street fights in New York, which aren’t recog­nised by law, and you could be charged with crimes rang­ing from mis­de­meanour as­sault to mur­der.

In that sce­nario, Rum­blr also could be crim­i­nally li­able, said Peter Tilem, a New York lawyer and for­mer se­nior pros­e­cu­tor in the Man­hat­tan dis­trict at­tor­ney’s of­fice.

“Un­der New York State law, it’s ex­tremely prob­lem­atic,” Tilem said.

In other words, it’s un­likely that any­one would line up to fund such an app, even if start-up types were obliv­i­ous enough to cre­ate it.

Speak­ing of start- up types, the pair be­hind Rum- blr raise a few sus­pi­cions them­selves.

Getrum­blr.com is reg­is­tered to Jack Kim, a skinny Na­tional Merit Scholar whose LinkedIn pro­file de­scribes him as a third-year stu­dent at Stan­ford.

Matt Hen­der­son, mean­while, owns a nascent on­line mar­ket­ing firm called Juhász & As­so­ciates and has pur­port­edly logged a num­ber of fancy-sound­ing Cours­era univer­sity classes since grad­u­at­ing from high school... five months ago.

Kim and Hen­der­son,in an e-mail, in­sisted the app was real and would be de­liv­ered on sched­ule. Our bet? Rum­blr is a mar­ket­ing stunt, a prank or (best case) an un­sub­tle par­ody. – Wash­ing­ton Post

NON­SENSE: A couple of chil­dren made a fake 'Tin­der for fight­ing' app.

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