Users of LGBTQ+ dating app Grindr have reported being ghosted by the company itself, having been banned without being given a reason.
According to Instinct Magazine, men have been taking to social media to report that they have been banned from the platform for violation of policies, but most are adamant they’ve broken no rules. Similar complaints can be found on review sites, such as Trust Pilot.
It doesn’t help that there is no specific information about what each user is supposed to have done, and messages to Grindr support are going unanswered.
These are no shadow bans though – it’s become clear that these guys are having their IP addresses banned – something that isn’t undertaken lightly, and makes it highly unlikely that the whole thing can be put down to an algorithm error, making it even weirder that Grindr is not engaging with the affected users. Some users even report being banned by Grindr’s customer services.
One theory is that Grindr is operating some sort of ‘zero tolerance’ scheme, and is banning people who have done nothing more than reject a potential match, who has then made a complaint based on their bruised ego.
Another suggests that there’s an emoji innuendo issue – the wrong emojis (maple leaf for marijuana, eggplant for genitalia, e.t.c) are now being recognized by moderators for what they mean, not what they are.
Yet another suggests that there’s been a ban on sending nude pics, but one that hasn’t actually been announced, which would be a little confusing for a site that has always tolerated them between consenting members in the past.
The big issue here is Grindr’s communication, or apparent lack of it. If there has been a change in policy, the company should be transparent with customers – like actually telling them. If customers feel they have been wronged, they should be able to enter a dialogue with the company.
Grindr has had its fair share of ups and downs in the past year, not least of all its brief tenure as a Chinese-owned company, comments about same-sex relationships made by the company president, and backlash over an ethnicity filter.
We’ve reached out to Grindr to try and work out exactly what’s going on, but based on what we already know, we’re not holding our collective breath for a response. Indeed, it has been more than 24 hours and no response has arrived, so perhaps we’ve been ghosted too. We will update here if the company gets back to us.