Tinder Traveler Alert to protect LGBTQ travelers in homophobic countries
The Tinder Traveler Alert is set to protect its LGBTQ members who are traveling to countries that have criminalized homosexuality.
The feature offered by dating app Tinder uses the smartphone’s GPS function to check if the user is in the one of nearly 70 countries where it’s illegal to be openly LGBTQ.
This feature is available for Tinder users on both iOS and Android phones.
Tinder Traveler Alert hides users in dangerous countries
For those Tinder members who identify as LGBTQ, the feature will not only display a warning about that country’s laws, it will also hide their profile.
For those who want to make their profile public, the app will hide their sexual orientation or gender identity.
The feature will alert users once they’re on the ground in these countries or if they’re using Tinder Passport to swipe in them.
Tinder isn’t the first to offer this service as the gay dating app Scruff also sends out a warning when a user is in a particular country.
However, Tinder has millions of people around the world with users who are not LGBTQ people.
Tinder Traveler Alert to protect users around the world
Tinder is determined to ensure the safety of their users with this feature, said Elie Seidman, CEO of Tinder, in a press release.
“We serve all communities– no matter their gender identity or sexual orientation– and we are proud to offer features that help keep them safe,” said Seidman.
“This alert is an example of the many steps that we are taking to protect our users around the world,” he added.
This move will protect Tinder users in countries like Egypt, where dating apps are being used by Egyptian police to catch gay users under their country’s “debauchery” laws.
In other countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia, prosecutors can push for the death penalty against same-sex acts and relationships.
LGBTQ Tinder users face danger in certain nations
Tinder worked with the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA World) to compile a database of countries where it’s dangerous to be openly LGBTQ.
TLGA World, which does research and releases annual reports of state-sponsored homophobia, wants to raise awareness among Tinder users while also helping to protect LGBTQ people in those countries that criminalize same-sex love.
André du Plessis, Executive Director at ILGA World, said, “We work hard to change practices, laws and attitudes that put LGBTQ people at risk — including the use of dating apps to target our community.
“But in the meantime, the safety of our communities also depends on supporting their digital safety,” du Plessis said.
Seidman said: “Travel season is in full swing and our hope is that Traveler Alert will educate users (travelers and locals alike) who may not have been aware of such state-sponsored laws.”