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Tinder is launching a travel alert for LGBTQ users in hostile countries

Tinder is launching a travel alert for LGBTQ users in hostile countries
[Photo: Flickr user Tomash Devenishek]

There are nearly 70 countries around the world where love is not love, being a member of the LGBTQ community is effectively illegal, and people can face serious criminal penalties for simply existing. Tinder wants to make sure its LGBTQ users aren’t looking for love in all the wrong places. The dating-app company has introduced a new alert system that will warn users when they enter regions with discriminatory laws.

[Photos: Tinder, Peter Hershey/Unsplash]

When an LGBTQ user pulls up Tinder in one of the 70 LGBTQ-hostile countries, Tinder’s new Traveler Alert feature will pop up with a kind but firm warning designed to protect users from both law-enforcement agencies and individuals who may target them in certain countries. “Based on your geographical location, it appears you’re in a place where the LGBTQ community may be penalized,” the alert reads. “We want you to have fun, but your safety is our #1 priority. Please proceed with caution and take extra care when making new matches and meeting with people you do not know.”

Here’s how it works:

  • Members of Tinder’s self-identified LGBTQ community will no longer automatically appear on Tinder when they open the app in one of the 70 areas identified by the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) as potentially risky.
  • If a user fires up Tinder in, say, Jamaica or Brunei or any of the nine countries that allow prosecutors to seek the death penalty for consensual same-sex relationships, the alert will pop up.
  • Once the user has been properly warned, they can decide to remain hidden while in that location or they can make their profile public and connect with new people, even if there is potentially some risk.
  • If a user chooses to be shown on Tinder—and has added sexual orientation or gender identity to their profile—it will not be displayed until they leave that area. The alert will also appear for users trying out Tinder’s Passport feature, which matches people all around the world.

The new feature will roll out for both iOS and Android users in the coming days.

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