Grindr fails to remove ethnicity filter after pledge to do so
Nearly a month after dating and hook-up app Grindr promised to remove an “ethnicity filter”, the feature is still available and being promoted.
The filter, for use by subscribers to the premium version of the app, allows Grindr users to exclude or sort search results based on reported ethnicity.
Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) LGBT users flagged it as an issue but have had no response from Grindr.
The BBC has also not yet received a response from the company.
After people pushed for its removal in May 2020, Grindr posted a statement across social media on 1 June, announcing the removal of the filter and saying the platform had a “zero-tolerance policy for racism and hate speech”.
It continued: “As part of this commitment, and based on your feedback, we have decided to remove the ethnicity filter from our next release.”
However, while there have been six updates to the Grindr app since the statement, the ethnicity filter is still usable.
Users without the “advanced filter” feature are even encouraged to pay £15.99 a month to access it. The advert says: “Find just your type.”
The BBC has spoken to users of the app who say they feel “lied to” about the proposed changes.
“It’s like Grindr lied, just to jump on Black Lives Matter,” said one.
Another commented: “My Grindr app last updated only four days ago and has had five updates between this release and their June 1 statement. I’ve been waiting for the change, but the ethnicity filter is still there. Grindr, do better.”
A third user said he was “disgusted” by it: “So they snatched the positive PR for removing the filter, but kept it up anyway.”
Over the past month, many companies have posted messages supporting the “Black Lives Matter” movement, following protests across the world.
The sudden outpouring of global support was sparked by the killing of George Floyd – a black man who died while being arrested by a white officer.