Grindr Warns Egyptians About Risks Of Using The App
After investigating reports that Egyptian police use social media to entrap and arrest LGBT people, Grindr has decided to issue a warning to anyone using the app in the African country.
Reads the warning from Grindr that pops-up upon opening the app in Egypt:
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.
The message comes on the heels of an Egyptian court sentencing six men to labor prison for advertising an apartment on Facebook "for men to have sex with each other for a fee of $200 per night." The case marks the first time police have used social media to hunt down and prosecute the Egyptian gay community -- an understandable concern for Grindr.
But there was another reason the popular Gay hookup app was prompted to warn its users.
Grindr was under criticism this summer for a design feature that might allow the network to be used to pinpoint the exact location of users. The English-language Egyptian publication the Cairo Scene published a story on September 2 that said Grindr was a primary tool for these schemes, but the story included no evidence of documented cases and human rights activists in Egypt say they know of no confirmed cases of entrapment through Grindr or other social media applications designed exclusively for mobile phones.
Facebook has not yet issued comment for its role in helping conservative Egyptian authorities prosecute LGBT citizens.