After years of backlash, Grindr finally ditches the ethnicity filter

Grindr Ethnicity Filter removed

LGBTQ+ hook-up app, Grindr has confirmed that it has removed its ethnicity filter, after extensive criticism.

The company, which has stood firm on the subject for years, has confirmed that the option to select from specific ethnicities will be removed in the next version of the app, in answer to critics who have accused it of allowing discrimination that plays into the hands of racists.

Announcing the move, Grindr reminded users that it has a “zero-tolerance policy for racism and hate speech”, after accusations of hypocrisy in the wake of the George Floyd murder in the US, and specifically a Tweet reading “Demand justice. BlackLivesMatter”.

A response that said simply “remove the ethnicity filter” was retweeted over 1,000 times.

The move hasn’t gone down well with some users who argue that they are doing the bare minimum, as a kneejerk reaction, not only to current events, but to the demands of white users. Many BAME users have said that they have repeatedly flagged up the issue over the years and been roundly ignored.

Grindr announced the change in another Tweet, which also confirmed donations to the Black Lives Matter movement and the Marsha P Johnson Institute which supports BAME LGBTQ+ causes.

The company celebrated its 10th birthday last year, has around 4 million users per day, and its reach stretches to around 200 countries. The ethnicity filter is one in a series of controversies that have hit the platform.

In 2018, it was found to be “leaking” data and turning a blind eye to drug-related activity, whilst several “bad apples” have slipped through the company’s vetting process, leading to one serial killer being found guilty of four murders and four rapes of victims found through the site. Another person used the site to find partners to deliberately infect with HIV.

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Chris M

Chris M

Chris has worked in technology journalism for over a decade, and brings his nerdy expertise to looking at what goes on under the hood of sex tech.

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