Dating App Tinder will introduce new security features to warn LGBTQ users when using their service in a country with discriminatory laws.
The new feature is available in 70 different countries selected with the help of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association and is effective today.
Among the countries under the umbrella of the feature are Iran, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, the United Arab Emirates and others.
We are introducing a Traveler Alert that appears when Tinder is opened at one of these locations to ensure that our users are aware of the potential dangers facing the LGBTQ community, so that they exercise extra caution and do not unwittingly put themselves at risk of simply being themselves,” the company said in a statement.
Tinder says the feature works by automatically hiding the user when they enter one of the countries and displaying a warning inside the app.
Users – or at least those who have entered their sexual orientation into the app – then have the option of either remaining hidden or republishing their profile.
On-site alerts are also displayed for users in this area, even if they have not just travelled to the country.
While the feature can benefit unsuspecting users who would otherwise be in danger, Tinder has in the past often been criticized by members of the LGBTQ community, especially by transgenders.
Transgender users have long complained about the tendency of dating apps to inexplicably ban their accounts.
Last year, a transgender woman sued the platform for blocking her account after adding that she was a “preop trans woman” in her biography. Tinder allegedly refused to explain why the user was banned.
In 2017, Tinder tried to clarify his attitude towards transgender users.
We stand behind our promise to ensure that no one is removed from tinder just because of their gender,” the company said.
However, we must do everything in our power to ensure that Tinder is a safe place for everyone, which means we take our community policies and user reports seriously.
Even despite litigation and complaints from members of the LGBTQ community, a recent report by The Independent describes several Trans women who report that Tinder has done little to address widespread issues in the community.
Today, we offer users around the world the opportunity to choose from more than 50 gender-specific identities and nine sexual orientations,” Tinder told the branch.
For those with problems, we recommend that you make sure the More Gender feature is enabled or contact our customer support team at [email protected].