Grindr Applauds Sen. Cardin’s Egypt Human Rights Push, Urges Focus on LGBTQ Protections
As we saw in March and have seen repeatedly, Egypt is the single most dangerous country in the world for Grindr users, where the government engages in incomprehensible brutality against LGBTQ people. Thus we applaud Senate Foreign Relations Chair Ben Cardin’s stated intention to hold the Egyptian government accountable for its human rights record.
Although the danger to our community members in Egypt comes from many quarters, much of it is perpetrated by the police. Officers are trained at scale on how to use community spaces, including those online, to catfish; entrap; and ultimately arrest LGBTQ people, simply for being who we are and loving who we love.
We have spent nearly the past decade creating safety features and strategies to mitigate these challenges for users in Egypt and the more than 60 countries where being gay is illegal. In these parts of the world the app doesn’t tell other users a person’s exact distance, users receive a weekly safety reminder in local languages, more screenshot blocking has been put in place, and users have access to additional features like our discrete app icon and unlimited retractable messages. All of this has been developed in consultation with safety-focused technologists and LGBTQ activists working on the ground in these countries.
We do this work and keep the app turned on in places like Egypt because we believe gay, bi, and trans people there deserve to be able to connect, and they deserve to have the best safety features we can offer while they’re doing so.
We take our position in the global LGBTQ ecosystem extremely seriously, which is why we created Grindr for Equality over ten years ago–to promote queer safety, health, and human rights around the world. But the LGBTQ movement needs allies in order to achieve the vision of full equality, and the U.S. government should use its considerable influence, as it has before, to advance human rights in this area. We encourage U.S. officials to support Senator Cardin’s demand for “concrete, meaningful, and sustainable steps to improve the human rights conditions in [Egypt],” including to end the widespread police persecution of LGBTQ people.