The Traveler Alert will appear when the app is first opened in countries that still have discriminatory laws, to educate and warn users about the potential dangers LGBTQ+ people face.
Tinder has announced a new safety feature, Traveler Alert. The feature is designed to protect and inform members of the LGBTQ community from the inherent risk of using dating apps in the nearly 70 countries that still have discriminatory laws effectively criminalizing LGBTQ status. The Traveler Alert will appear when the app is first opened in one of these countries to educate and warn users about the potential dangers LGBTQ people face.
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. 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. In the latter case, if a user has added sexual orientation or gender identity to their profile, the app will automatically take the step to remove this information to safeguard users from law enforcement agencies and individuals who may target them.
The alert will appear when users are on the ground in these countries, as well as if they are using Tinder’s Passport feature to connect with users in any location in the world. Once users have left the country or changed their location, then they will be visible again on the app.
Taru Kapoor, GM-India, Tinder and Match Group, says, “Inclusivity and acceptance are core values at Tinder and drives all our efforts. Everyone is welcome on Tinder- regardless of gender identity and orientation and the safety and security of our users is also of paramount importance to us. The Tinder Traveler Alert combines these values, ensuring that our LGBTQ+ users are aware of the necessary precautions they need to take in countries that are hostile towards gender and sexual orientations outside the binary.”
Tinder collaborated with ILGA World, sourcing data from their latest State-Sponsored Homophobia report, to help establish where the alert should be deployed. If users are served the warning and would like to learn more, they will be directed to ILGA World’s 2019 resources focused on sexual orientation laws.
“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 criminalise same-sex love,” said André du Plessis, Executive Director at ILGA World. “We support Tinder’s dedication to improving security features for their users. We work hard to change practices, laws and attitudes that put LGBTQ people at risk — including the use of dating apps to target our community — but in the meantime, the safety of our communities also depends on supporting their digital safety.”
In addition to its Traveler Alert, Tinder has launched a number of updates and efforts in support of the LGBTQ community over the last year. With the help of India’s oldest LGBTQ organization, The Humsafar Trust and LGBTQ author and inclusion advocate, Parmesh Shahani, the app released 23 More genders. This was followed by the launch of a new Sexual orientations feature, which gives users another way to express sexuality and have more control over potential matches.
Traveller Alert is soon rolling out on iOS and Android.