There’s a security feature rolling out on Tinder design to help protect LBGTQ+ users who travel to regions that still criminalize their relationships.
Therefore, those who will identify on the app as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer will no longer automatically appear on Tinder when traveling in such a state. The Traveler Alert is based on the phone’s network connection to determine its location, leaving users to choose whether they’d like to display their location. However, if they want to go profile public again, Tinder will hide their sexual orientation or gender identity for protection. Their profile will become visible again, once they left the oppressive countries.
“The purpose of this is to protect users who could be persecuted for their identity in these countries,” a spokesperson said.
The app will alert users that they travel to a region where same-sex relationships are punished under the law, to keep its users safe.
“It is unthinkable that, in 2019, there are still countries with legislation in place that deprives people of this basic right,” said Elie Seidman, Tinder’s chief executive.
At the beginning of the year, the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) revealed that 69 countries considered same-sex acts illegal. Nine of them, including Iran, Sudan and Saudi Arabia encourage prosecutors to pursue the death penalty against it.
ILGA’s executive director André du Plessis encouraged Tinder’s effort to protect its users:
“We work hard to change practices, laws and attitudes that put LGBTQ people at risk — including the use of dating apps to target our community — but in the meantime, the safety of our communities also depends on supporting their digital safety,” he said.