The popular dating app for gay men, Grindr, has this week closed the option to anonymously find users by location after concerns were raised over the safety of some individuals.
Concerns over the safety of gay men living in homophobic societies were raised after an anonymous tipster in Europe revealed a flaw in the app’s security setting that allowed anyone online to find the near-exact location and contact details of individual Grindr users.
The issue became of particular concern to gay Iranians, whose lives were put at risk because of the security flaw. In Iran homosexuality is illegal, leading many LGBT groups to worry that the flaw may lead previously anonymous homosexuals to be persecuted and even killed.
Grindr is used by millions of men across the world and has proven popular with smartphone users living in homophobic parts of the world where meeting fellow gay men is difficult and sometimes dangerous.
Grindr’s app update now means that the location details of users remains anonymous and that other details can only be found through the app and not online, meaning that only fellow Grindr users will be able to contact each other.
Many are hoping that the new changes will allow gay and bi men living within the Caucasus to continue meeting each other without fearing for their safety.
Are you a Grindr user living in the Caucasus? If so we would like to hear about your story for an upcoming feature. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject title ‘Grindr Stories’.