By Joana Saba
Online dating app Grindr is now warning users in Egypt against giving out their personal information and setting up meetings with other Grindr users due to the threat of arrests against users in the LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender] community.
A message now appears on the dating app, which is known for its popularity among the LGBT community, urging users to “Speak Safely”.
The message reads, “Egypt is arresting LGBT people, and police may be posing as LGBT on social media to entrap you. Please be careful about arranging meetings with people you don’t know, and be careful about posting anything that might reveal your identity.”
Recent reports have shown that Grindr has been used to track LGBT people in Egypt, and the dating app announced earlier this month that users in certain countries, including Egypt, would have their distance hidden on the app by default.
“In response to recent security allegations surrounding location data, Grindr is taking proactive measures to keep users safe in territories with a history of violence against the gay community,” a blog post on Grindr’s website read.
“This change means that any user within these countries will not show distance on their profile (e.g. 1 mile away). Your location will not be able to be determined via trilateration or any other method, keeping your position private and secure.”
Prior to this change, users’ locations could be narrowed down to within a few hundred metres using the app, making it easy to target them.
Grindr’s announcement comes following various high profile arrests of LGBT people, including the recent arrest of eight men in relation to a video purporting to show Egypt’s first gay wedding, on charges of “debauchery”.