Tinder Protects LGBTQ+ Users Travelling In Hostile Countries
Tinder are looking to keep users of their platform safe, by introducing some protections for when they’re travelling abroad to less-than-safe countries. How? By masking people’s sexual preferences and identities if the country considers them illegal.
The update will mean that users who identify as gay, bisexual, transgender or queer won’t show automatically on Tinder while they’re in a hostile country. Dubbed the Traveler Alert, your phone’s location will let Tinder know where you are, and give you the option to stay private or open your profile back up to the public.
The goal is to protect such users from being targeted by law enforcement or others looking to target them. Once they leave the country, their profile would revert to normal visibility once again.
“The purpose of this is to protect users who could be persecuted for their identity in these countries,” a spokesperson said.
The dating app maker, which has tens of millions of users in 190 countries, said the update will warn users when they travel to a country where same-sex relationships are punished under law to help keep “all its users safe.”
“It is unthinkable that, in 2019, there are still countries with legislation in place that deprives people of this basic right,” said Elie Seidman, Tinder’s chief executive.” (TechCrunch)
A study by the International Lesbian, Gay, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) in March found that 69 countries consider same-sex acts illegal. Botswana has since decriminalized same-sex relationships.
According to Worldometers.info, there are 195 countries in the world. That means that roughly 35% of all countries in the world are hostile to same-sex relationships. Tinder’s update should mean their users can travel abroad more safely to these countries, with the option of using Tinder openly or not to find partners.