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Iceland’s Anti-Incest App

Iceland’s new app encourages tapping phones before you ‘tap’ your cousin.



In the States we have no shortage of dating apps that allow you to see how compatible you are with other users based on religion, similar interests, or even desire for a one night stand (in which case, the app can also alert you if you are standing close to a potential hook-up at a crowded bar – creepy and convenient!). As nifty as all of these apps are, they’re basically just a luxury to make hooking up easier. In Iceland, however, dating apps carry a bit more weight. There’s one that aims to prevent you from having sex with your cousin – because that’s actually more of a problem than just leaving the bar by yourself on a Saturday night.

In Iceland’s case, if you’re sleeping around in an island nation with a population of just about 320,000, it’s inevitable that you’ll eventually end up in bed with a distant relative. To try to solve this problem, a group of university students created IslendingaApp, which is powered by data from a genealogy website and allows users to actually tap phones to see how closely related they are. If they’re too close, the incest alarm will sound and potentially awkward family reunions will be avoided. The pitch? “Bump the app before you bump in bed.”

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