A new feature allows user to publicize their sexual orientation – now they’re trying to help make them safe
Tinder is rolling out a new safety feature for its LGBTI users when they travel to potentially dangerous countries and areas.
The dating app announced the new feature, Traveler Alert, on Wednesday (24 July).
‘The feature is designed to protect and inform members of the LGBTQ community from the inherent risk of using dating apps in the nearly 70 countries that still have discriminatory laws effectively criminalizing LGBTQ status,’ Tinder said in a press release.
Tinder worked with ILGA World, and used data from their State-Sponsored Homophobia report, in order to identify the 70 countries.
How does the Tinder feature work?
Once the feature rolls out, the app will hide LGBTI users’ profiles when opened in the selected locations. An alert will show up — users then have the choice to keep their profiles hidden or make them public again.
If a user chooses to go public, their profile may contain their sexual orientation or gender identity. If this is the case, Tinder ‘will automatically take the step to remove this information to safeguard users from law enforcement agencies and individuals who may target them’.
When a user receives the alert, they have the opportunity to learn more.
By clicking on the link that appears, they will be directed to ILGA World’s 2019 resources focused on sexual orientation laws.
A conversation that turned to risk
People use Tinder in 190 countries, in 40 different languages, with 26 million matches counted on the app each day.
The app recently rolled out a new feature allowing users to include information on their sexual orientation and/or gender identity.
‘As our team discussed the ability to add your orientation to your profile and display it, the conversation quickly shifted to focus on how this could put users in some areas at risk,’ CEO Elie Seidman said in a statement to Gay Star News.
‘Before rolling out Orientations more widely, we wanted to build an update to address this and work with the experts to do so. Summer travel season is in full swing and our hope is that Traveler Alert will educate users (travelers and locals alike) who may not have been aware of such state-sponsored laws.’
Seidman added in the press release: ‘We fundamentally believe that everyone should be able to love who they want to love … and we are proud to offer features that help keep them safe.’