Grindr

Now That China Owns 'Grindr', Is Your Security At Risk?

In January 2016, Grindr sold 60% of its company for $93 million to Chinese gaming company Kunlun Group. Now, the company has acquired the remaining 40% of the successful gay dating app for $152 million--bringing the total buyout for the app to a whopping $254 million.

Grindr CEO and founder, Joel Simkhai, will step away from the company and Grindr’s current vice-chairman Wei Zhou will be executive vice-chairman and CFO, and former Facebook and Instagram veteran Scott Chen will become an integral part of Grindr as CTO.

Does this new shift in the Grindr brand mean changes for the apps 3.3 million daily users? Will this come with new taps or customized emojis? Potential to upload video?

Something that users should be more concerned about is their privacy. U.S. Intelligence Officials are worried that the Chinese government may be accessing personal information and tracking Grindr users. China currently collects personal information to build databases that are used for either influence or intelligence. Still sure you want to host?

According to the Washington Post, Grindr assures that app user security is their priority, and since the company will remain US based, it will abide by U.S. laws. However, Chinese companies are subject to turn over data for the sake of 'public security', a term that all companies must comply with based on Chinese government standards.

Shanthi Kalathil, director of the International Forum for Democratic Studies at the National Endowment for Democracy, has stated:

The problem is that the exact role Chinese firms have in supplying data to the Chinese government is unclear. What is assured is that – unlike in a democracy — if the Chinese government demands this kind of data from Chinese companies, the companies have little recourse but to comply. What we need is more clarity on the implications of these sorts of purchases and what it means for non-Chinese citizens. At the very least, if you are thinking about blackmailing individuals or compelling people to act in a certain way, that information is incredibly valuable.

Just another thing to worry about aside from getting messages from faceless profiles. Grind with caution, boys! It may not matter if you're on the DL anymore.

Grindr’s Founder Quit After A Chinese Company Bought Him Out

Last year, we shared the news that Chinese company Beijing Kunlun Tech was going to buy all the stakes in Grindr.

Now, it seems that Joel Simkhai, the founder and former CEO of Grindr has decided to step down from his position.

“We have achieved our success because of the strength and global reach of our community,” Simkhai said. “I look forward to Grindr and Kunlun’s continued commitment to building tolerance, equality, and respect around the world.”

Kunlun Group Limited is the specific company that bought out Grindr, which is a subsection of the larger Chinese video game company Beijing Kunlun Tech.

The company first had bought out 62% of Grindr for $93 million in January of last year, and then announced they wanted to buy the rest of the company in May.

Now that Simkhai has stepped down, Yahui Zhou, the current chair of the board for Grindr, will work as the interim CEO until a more permanent solution is found.

In a statement, Zhou said, “Looking forward, we are extremely excited about the excellent work Grindr is doing in becoming a leading global technology company, serving and supporting our users no matter where they are in the world.”

For those concerned of the anti-gay Chinese government getting involved, there is less to worry about than you’d expect. We say this primarily because of the success of the Blued app.

Blued is the most used gay app in the world and offers several features besides a grid to find hookups. It provides video chat and streaming, blog space, articles, and connections to several community outreach programs/charities.

Most importantly, Blued creator Geng Le states that the Chinese government trusts his company and app.

While having a new company in charge may bring worries of policy change, it seems that at least the government shouldn't get involved. That is, as long as Grindr follows the same path of making money.

Texas Man Gets 15 Years in Prison for Using Grindr to Rob Gay Men

Nigel Garrett, 21, is one of the four men who targeted gay men through gay dating app Grindr early last year. Garrett would connect with gay men on the app and arrange to meet at their homes where his accomplices Chancler Encalade, Cameron Ajiduah, and Anthony Shelton would arrive and tie-up victims, beat them, and shout derogatory language at them before robbing them at gunpoint. This is why you should never host!

The home invasions occurred over a three week period in Frisco, Plano, and Aubrey, Texas.

Garrett has been sentenced to 15 years in prison while his buddies are still awaiting sentences. Garrett’s sentence was followed by a plea deal with prosecutors according to the Tyler Morning Telegraph.

In a statement, Acting Assistant Attorney General of the Civic Rights Division John Gore said:

Hate crimes are an attack on a fundamental principle of the United States to be free from fear of violence because of your sexual orientation, gender identity, race, color, religion, or national origin. The Department of Justice is committed to using every tool at its disposal to combat this type of violence.

Top Left: Anthony Shelton; Top Right: Nigel Garrett; Bottom Left: Cameron Ajiduah; Bottom Right: Chancler Encalade

Eminem Clarified His Grindr Comment

Yesterday, we shared the news that Eminem said that he used Grindr to find dates.

In an interview with Vulture to promote his new album Revival, Eminem talked about dating and said a line that raised more than a few eyebrows.

V: Do you date?
E: It’s tough. Since my divorce I’ve had a few dates and nothing’s panned out in a way that I wanted to make it public. Dating’s just not where I’m at lately. 

When you were dating, how’d you meet people? Tinder?
I mean, yeah. 

Are you being serious?
Yeah, Tinder. 

Really?
[Laughs] And Grindr. I also used to go to strip clubs. 

As you can imagine, that comment got some people talking (because some people can't tell if he's joking or not).

Now, Eminem is clarifying the statement through a spokesperson to confirm that it was just a joke.

“I’m confirming that he was joking about using both Tinder and Grindr,” the rep told The Muse.

So for those who swear Eminem is hiding in the closet, you're not getting a coming out story today.

Two Hockey Announcers Wondered What Grindr Is While On Air

If you were listening in to the radio during the Montreal Canadiens game this past Saturday, you’ll have found yourself a little treat in the commentary.

We’re all used to having to listen to announcers give their 2 cents on the goings-on of games (in seemingly longer segments than the games themselves). But if more of the commentary ended up like the one with Dean Brown and Gord Wilson, we might have to actually pay attention to them.

Brown and Wilson were on the air for their call-in radio show and Brown said that they would be taking questions from calls, “emails, Tinder, Twitter, Grindr - all the social media stuff.”

Wilson was surprised by the inclusion of Grindr (“Grindr? Is Grindr a thing?”), and Brown explained, “Well, I don’t know what any of them do, so I just mentioned them all.”

What followed was some hilarious commentary and guessing on what Grindr is.

If you want to listen to the audio from the moment, click on this link to Deadspin here. Otherwise, a a transcript can be found below.

Dean Brown: “Gord and I ... [will take] calls, questions, emails — Tinder, Twitter, Grindr — all the social media stuff. They'll have that going on after the game tonight.”

Gord Wilson: “Grindr?”

Brown: “Well, I don't know what any of them do, so I just mention them all.”

Wilson: “Is Grindr a thing?”

Brown: “I guess so, I don't know what it is though.”

Wilson: “Wow, I can only imagine what's found on Grindr or who's found on Grindr.”

Brown: “I think it probably has something to do with those Mix Masters, those grinder attachments.”

Wilson: “OK, uh-huh”

Brown: “Probably all the things you can grind with one of those machines, cheese, vegetables. We'll get Matt to figure out what that is and let us know what Grindr actually is. I heard it and know it's part of the social media thing. Not that I’m old and not into this.”

Grindr Was Down For Two Hours And Users Were Not Happy

Gay hookup and dating app Grindr is considered the prime app for gay men, but what happens if that app goes down?

That’s what users found out this morning when the app went down in the U.K., U.S., Europe, and Australia, and those users weren’t happy.

The outage happened around 7:00 am EST, according to independent website Down Detector, and lasted a little under two hours. It seems 62% of users had log-in issues and 37% had problems connecting to the server.

Then, as you’d expect, users took their panic to Twitter.

Former Grindr Employee Says HR Supervisor Drugged & Raped Him

Daniel Cabanero, the Human Resources Supervisor for Grindr, is being sued for drugging and raping a former employee.

TMZ. who broke the story, said employee who’s choosing to remain anonymous, claims that Cabanero drugged him at the company’s 2016 Xmas party. Then, Cabanero put John Doe, as he’s being referred to, in a car, took him to a hotel room, and anally raped him.

John Doe claims that he woke up in the middle of the sexual act and then lost consciousness again. When he awoke, he went to the E.R. where he says he was “subjected to a highly invasive and humiliating rape examination.”

TMZ then reports that John Doe went to the authorities who are still in the middle of the investigation.

John Doe also partially blames other Grindr workers who knew he was impaired and didn’t protect him. Plus, he says the company encouraged sexually explicit language and misconduct.

When TMZ reached out to Grindr, they didn’t send word back.

Keep in mid however that the story is still too new. There is no evidence or proof to verify the story yet.

Instinct Magazine will keep looking for more information concerning this topic and will keep you up-to-date with any new discoveries.

Egyptian Authorities Are Using Grindr To Lure & Arrest Gay Men

The anti-gay crackdown in Egypt is getting hotter and hotter as each day goes and now Grindr users might want to get off the app if they want to stay safe.

Just last week, we shared that Grindr was sharing information on how to stay safe with users in the country of Egypt. But, it looks like the app may be more of a liability than a help now.

Apparently, Egyptian police are luring gay men to hotels while using Grindr and arresting them on the spot.

This information was shared by gender rights researcher Dalia Abdel-Hameed who released police reports outlining a “cultivation” technique in which authorities lure gay men to traps through dating apps.

"It's related to the fact that men are using apps more than women and an obsession of who is being penetrated," Ms Abdel-Hameed said.

"There is this penetration mania in Egypt due to religious reasons, mostly."

More than 60 people have been arrested in the country after a rainbow flag was raised at a concert in Cairo.

The flag raising which was only meant as a symbol of gay pride at a rock concert where the lead singer is gay, has caused a major crackdown on LGBTQ rights in the country.

"It was just a concert. It wasn't even a pride parade and we weren't even calling for our rights. This action was so over the top and I was so shocked," said Transgender woman Jasmine, 25, to The Age in reaction to the ongoing situation in Egypt.

In addition to the continual arrests, an Egyptian politician has introduced a bill to parliament that would make being gay illegal in the country.

Gay Apps Are Giving Safety Tips To Users in Increasing Anti-Gay Countries

Multiple countries around the world are currently facing a conservative push against LGBTQ people. Egypt for instance is going through a major anti-gay crackdown. But in this time of strife, gay dating apps are giving users tips on how to stay safe.

Egypt is going through a very harsh anti-gay crack down after a rainbow flag was waved in the middle of a concert in Cairo.

What started out as just a few men waving that flag has ended up being a full-on campaign where nearly 70 people have been incarcerated and more than 20 have been sentenced to anywhere between six months and six years in prison, according to Dalia Abdel Hameed of the rights groups Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR).

That said, U.S.-based gay dating apps, like Grindr and Hornet, have been inserting safety tips in Arabic to Egyptian users.

Some of these tips include letting people know the location of any meetup you have with someone you meet online and meeting through video chats first to confirm identities.

“We always send out messages like this to users who are in places where there is an elevated level of risk,” said Jack Harrison-Quintana, a director at Grindr, to Reuters.

“It will make people take more precautions ... we know that the police are under pressure to arrest people and they are going about doing that through all the avenues that they have.”

Though it is not illegal to be gay in Egypt, there is still a toxic stigma towards LGBTQ people.

Report Says Grindr & Tinder Are Contributing To Increased Online Dating Crimes

New reports say that Grindr and Tinder are big contributors to increasing online dating realated crimes.

UK police have released a report that says that crimes based around online dating have increased between the years of 2011 and 2016.

The numbers specifically show that the number of crimes in 2011 was around 140. Then, by 2016 the number had gone up to 676 making a 382% increase.

In addition, the number of reported sexual crimes went up as well from 14 to 106. Plus, the number of violent crimes also went up from 29 to 240.

Later, Sky News revealed that Tinder and Grindr were to blame for a large portion of online dating related crimes.

But of course, these are only the reported incidents that we are talking about. As HM Prison and Probation serviceman Stephen Morris pointed out to Gay Star News.

Specifically, Morris was talking about chemsex which is also on the rise and which Morris says, “undoubtedly have contributed to the rise in the states.”

In response to all this, a Grindr spokesperson said:

“Grindr is committed to creating a safe environment through a system of digital and human screening tools to help its users connect and thrive.”

“Grindr encourages users to report suspicious and threatening activities. While we are constantly improving upon this process, it is important to remember that Grindr is an open platform.”

H/t: Attitude Magazine

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