In a move that’s both a really responsible move by a major online service and a heartbreaking indictment on the state of the world, Tinder have introduced a new service to warn you if the love you’re seeking is illegal in your current location.
Of course, here in Australia you’re free to date and marry folks of all possible genders but this is obviously not the case all over the planet.
And now Tinder will use data from the International Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trans and Intersex Association to keep track of the state of the law in different jurisdictions, and tie that to location data.
And thus if you identify in-app as being part of the LGBTQI+ community, this service now automatically hides you when you land in one of the 69 nations in which being non-straight is a criminal offence.
“Once the alert is activated, users will have the choice to remain hidden while in that location or opt into making their profile public so that they can connect with new people. In the latter case, if a user has added sexual orientation or gender identity to their profile, the app will automatically take the step to remove this information to safeguard users from law enforcement agencies and individuals who may target them.”Statement from Tinder
And sure, it doesn’t sound great that an app automatically closets people but given the habit of law enforcement in certain places to use the service to entrap people it’s become depressingly necessary.
Elie Seidman, CEO of Tinder, was quoted in a statement as saying “We serve all communities – no matter their gender identity or sexual orientation – and we are proud to offer features that help keep them safe. This alert is an example of the many steps that we are taking to protect our users around the world.”
It’s smart, it’s responsible, and it’s a goddamn shame that it’s even slightly necessary – but at least you should know if you’re safe for hooking up on Tinder wherever you are.
And take care of each other out there, team.