What happens when thirst meets politics?
Well, users of queer dating app Grindr have found out the hard way, with many complaining that they’re being banned for featuring politics in their profile text.
In the run up to the UK’s general election, several users claim they were banned for having “Vote Labour” in their app bio.
Twitter user Ben Vyle alleged that he was banned from the app just days before the election.
Ben told indy100:
I find it hypocritical that an app like Grindr, which prides itself on an inclusive interface and hyper-woke ‘queer’ branding, would ban me for speaking openly about politics.
To conflate advocating that people vote for a progressive, left-wing political party with some kind of advertising is perverse and ill-conceived. And to be honest, this premised on the notion that the language of ‘inclusivity’ or ‘queerness’ is apolitical. That's why I find it hypocritical: on the one hand, Grindr is happy to cash in on the Pink Pound of left-wing politics and, on the other, suppresses its overt expression.
What pissed me off even more about it is that after I made another account (because they refused to reinstate mine when I complained about my ban), I logged onto Grindr and the first thing I saw this morning was a banner encouraging users to vote
So how could this be happening?
On Grindr’s website, its guidelines don’t seem to mention politics. There are mentions to “hateful”, “toxic” or “discriminatory” behaviour, but nothing that singles out politics being included on profiles.
Ben isn’t alone, because other people have tweeted to suggest that they were also banned for featuring political messages on their profiles.
At the moment, no one's come forward to say they've been banned for openly supporting the Tories on Grindr. But maybe people are a little more shy about putting that in their profile? We couldn't possibly comment...
This alleged banning is particularly odd seeing as, as Ben says (and the author can confirm, lol), Grindr sent out a message to its UK users encouraging them to vote on election day. Grindr For Equality, the app's campaign that "works toward a world that is safe, just, and inclusive for people of all sexual orientations and gender identities," also gets political frequently.
Also, politics is a major way that people relate to each other – for many, it could be the difference between a blossoming romance and being ghosted.
indy100 contacted Grindr to confirm whether this is happening. They didn't confirm or deny whether users were being banned, but said:
Users are free to express their views and opinions in their individual profiles as long as they do not violate our terms of service or Community Guidelines.
For now, the thirst mystery continues...