Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Popular Dating App 'Grindr' grows in Russia from Olympics, Could be used as a Trap

By Brig Bagley

The Olympics and current anti-gay issues in Russia have tripled the number of users on popular gay dating app, Grindr. This number still pales to the number of users in the UK and USA, but the growth is interesting to note.

One concern is that there are possibly anti-gay groups posing as individuals to lure unsuspecting users to meet. Once found by the group, the individual is at risk of being attacked or even killed. The owners of the app haven't made any statements about ways to protect users from such attacks.

This also begs the question of how often managers, employers, parents, school officials, or even anti-gay individuals use the app to expose, mis-treat, or discriminate. Many gays already "out and proud" in places where it is considered safe and acceptable to be out find it silly and even annoying when other users refuse to post identifying pictures on the app in fear of just these things. But is their fear merited?

It wouldn't be surprising if Honor Code administrators make accounts just for that... finding and identifying BYU students using the app to catch them breaking the honor code. BYU witch hunts have occurred before, and not even that long ago. 

Parents could search gay social sites looking for their kid in order to confront him/her. Employers (who live in areas where it is still allowed to fire employees for being gay, like in Provo, UT) can do the same to have evidence and grounds to sack employees.

Many gay people find these situations hard to believe, but it only takes one real incident that makes it a serious safety issue. If you do have reason to fear such exposure, tread lightly. If not, be respectful of those who claim they do.

No comments:

Post a Comment