Tinder is stepping up the safety tools available for LGBTQ travelers using its app. In the coming days, the company will unveil a new feature that will automatically alert such travelers when they are in a country with laws criminalizing LGBTQ status, including Egypt and Jamaica. The tool is free to use and will be initiated automatically for users who signal LGBTQ status on the app.
“As part of the update, users who identify as LGBTQ will no longer automatically appear on Tinder when they open the app in these countries,” Tinder said via a press release. “Once the alert is activated, users will have the choice to remain hidden while in that location or opt into making their profile public so that they can connect with new people.”
To build the alert and ensure its accuracy, Tinder collaborated with the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association, or ILGA. “We hope that this development will raise awareness amongst all Tinder users, and help protect people of diverse sexual orientations in the 69 countries around the world that currently still criminalize same-sex love,” said André du Plessis, executive director at ILGA World, via the release. “We support Tinder’s dedication to improving security features for their users.”
The company has been quite vocal in support of the LGBTQ community. This summer, nonprofit groups working on behalf of equality-focused campaigns can advertise for free on the app. Tinder’s parent company, Match Group, also came out in support of the Equality Act in the United States. “We fundamentally believe that everyone should be able to love who they want to love — and we strive to reflect this in everything we do at Tinder. It is unthinkable that, in 2019, there are still countries with legislation in place that deprives people of this basic right,” Tinder’s CEO Elie Seidman said in the release.