The location-based gay dating app Grindr has said that it will remove its ethnicity filter in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. The app, which has long been criticized for letting racism, xenophobia, transphobia, femmephobia, and fatphobia run unchecked, posted the announcement Monday.
"We will not be silent," they wrote in a tweet. The tweet included a release, also posted to the brand's Instagram account that indicated the company which was recently sold for over $600 million, is also making donations in connection with the effort.
"We stand in solidarity with the #BlackLivesMatter movement and the hundreds of thousands of queer people of color who log in to our app every day," the graphic reads. The news comes as uprisings break out nationwide over a series of police killings with Black victims. "We will not be silent, and we will not be inactive. Today we are making donations to the Marsha P. Johnson Institute and Black Lives Matter, and urge you to do the same if you can. We will continue to fight racism on Grindr, both through dialogue with our community and a zero-tolerance policy for racism and hate speech on our platform. As part of this commitment, and based on your feedback, we have decided to remove the ethnicity filter from our next release."
The company has not yet announced how much was donated to the aforementioned efforts.
The filter allows those who pay for the service (or everyone, when the company is running a promotion) to filter their search results by the ethnicity users have on their profile. It has been the subject of at least one lawsuit, but is also only one aspect of an overwhelmingly toxic user experience for many queer people of color who use the app. Multiple studies have shown that this has been detrimental to the mental health and self-steem of users.
In September 2018, the company launched its anti-discrimination initiative Kindr. At the time, created during the tenure of former Grindr Chief Creative Officer Zach Stafford, it was said to be the beginning of a campaign to address the app's many issues. It featured people of color as well as various physical ability levels, sizes, and gender presentations. Shortly after it launched, the vast majority of the editorial team who had worked on it was disbanded, and there has been little mention of it since.
There has been no indication of when Grindr's next release will be issued. This news comes in place of their initial Prife plans dubbed "Pride Perserves." That calendar will launch Tuesday according to the company's Instagram caption.
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