Tinder introduces travel safety feature for LGBTQ users that hides their profile in countries with discriminatory laws
- A new feature helps notify LGBTQ when in countries with discriminatory laws
- A total of 70 countries were included in the list of Tinders watch countries
- People who identify their sexual orientation will be automatically hidden
- Tinder has gotten complaints from trans people of frequent profiling bans
Dating app Tinder will roll out new safety features that alerts LGBTQ users when they’re using its service in a country with discriminatory laws.
The new feature keys in on 70 different countries chosen with help from the the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association and is effective today.
Tinder will add new protections for LGBTQ users in countries with discriminatory laws with a new alert feature
‘We’re rolling out a Traveler Alert that will appear when Tinder is opened in one of these locations to ensure that our users are aware of the potential dangers the LGBTQ community faces so that they can take extra caution and do not unknowingly place themselves in danger for simply being themselves,’ said the company in a statement.
Tinder says the feature works by automatically hiding the user upon entering one of the countries and will appear in the form of an alert within the app.
Users — or at least those who have have input their sexual orientation into the app –will then have the option to either remain hidden or revert to making their profile public.
Alerts will also appear on the ground for users in that area even if they haven’t just traveled to the country.
While the feature may benefit unsuspecting users who would otherwise be in danger, Tinder has often been criticized by members of the LGBTQ community in the past, particularly those who are transgender.
The countries were selected with the help of the ILGA and based on laws that target LGBTQ people in particular
Transgender users have long complained of the dating apps propensity for inexplicably banning their accounts.
Last year, one transgender women sued the platform for banning her account after adding that she is a ‘preop trans woman’ into her bio. Tinder reportedly refused to give an explanation for why the user was banned.
In 2017 Tinder attempted to clarify its stance on transgender users.
‘We stand behind our pledge to make sure no one is ever removed from Tinder simply because of their gender,’ the company said.
‘However, we must do everything we can to make sure that Tinder is a safe space for everyone, which means taking our community guidelines and user reports seriously.
Tinder has been called out by transgender people for failing to address constant banning of their profiles. Disputes have even lead to litigation. File photo
Even despite litigation and complaints from members of the LGBTQ community, a more recent report from The Independent details several trans women who report that Tinder has done little to correct widespread issues in the community.
‘Today, we offer users around the world the opportunity to select from more than 50 gender identities and nine sexual orientations,’ Tinder told the outlet in response.
‘For anyone experiencing trouble, we recommend being certain that the More Genders feature is activated or reaching out to our customer care team at email@example.com.’
HOW DID ONLINE DATING BECOME SO POPULAR?
The first ever incarnation of a dating app can be traced back to 1995 when Match.com was first launched.
The website allowed single people to upload a profile, a picture and chat to people online.
The app was intended to allow people looking for long-term relationships to meet.
eHarmony was developed in 2000 and two years later Ashley Madison, a site dedicated to infidelity and cheating, was first launched.
A plethora of other dating sites with a unique target demographic were set up in the next 10-15 years including: OKCupid (2004), Plenty of Fish (2006), Grindr (2009) and Happn (2013).
In 2012, Tinder was launched and was the first ‘swipe’ based dating platform.
After its initial launch it’s usage snowballed and by March 2014 there were one billion matches a day, worldwide.
In 2014, co-founder of Tinder, Whitney Wolfe Herd launched Bumble, a dating app that empowered women by only allowing females to send the first message.
The popularity of mobile dating apps such as Tinder, Badoo and more recently Bumble is attributable to a growing amount of younger users with a busy schedule.
In the 1990s, there was a stigma attached to online dating as it was considered a last-ditch and desperate attempt to find love.
This belief has dissipated and now around one third of marriages are between couples who met online.
A survey from 2014 found that 84 per cent of dating app users were using online dating services to look for a romantic relationship.
Twenty-four per cent stated that that they used online dating apps explicitly for sexual encounters.