Tinder has launched a new feature designed to help LGBTQ+ users stay safe when traveling abroad. Called Traveler Alert, the feature hides LGBTQ+ users’ profiles when they travel to a country where same-sex relationships are illegal.
Countries Where It’s Criminal to Be LGBTQ+
In the vast majority of countries, the LGBTQ+ community is treated with respect. While there’s always more work to be done, in these countries, same-sex relationships are legal, and the people in them are afforded the same rights as heterosexual couples.
However, according to the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) there are 70 countries around the world where being anything other than heterosexual is considered a crime. And punishments include the death penalty.
Tinder’s Traveler Alert Warns LGBTQ+ Users
This is a problem for dating apps such as Tinder, which has users from the LGBTQ+ community. While they may be safe in their own country, if they travel abroad, they could find themselves considered a criminal for their sexual orientation or gender identity.
As outlined on the Tinder Blog, Tinder’s solution to this is a Traveler Alert. This will automatically hide users’ profiles when they land in a country which has laws criminalizing the LGBTQ+ community. Users can then choose whether they want to remain hidden.
Do any of you gays actually like staying at home? Because the amount of you that state in your tinder profile “like to travel” makes me sick ? NO I don’t want to travel, I like comfort and stability, call me boring if you want!
— Bussy Slayer (@GaySavagery) July 24, 2019
Even if a user decides to make their profile public in that country, their sexual orientation and/or gender identity will remain hidden. This is to ensure local law enforcement cannot use Tinder to target that user, which is known to have happened previously.
Tinder cannot guarantee anyone’s safety when traveling, but it’s clearly doing what it can to keep people safe. Opting to not open Tinder at all while traveling abroad is an even safer bet, but if you do open Tinder that’s when you’ll see the new Traveler Alert.
Tips to Help You Stay Safe When Using Tinder
Whatever your sexual orientation, you should always be careful when using a dating app such as Tinder. Because not everyone is going to be as genuine as you. So here are our tips to protect your privacy on Tinder and the common mistakes to avoid when using Tinder.
Image Credit: Kurt Bauschardt/Flickr