Earlier this week, users of the popular gay dating app Scruff were greeted by a message from the company of a change in policy regarding profile pictures.
Titled, “Profile photo guidelines are changing,” the alert went on to state, “To comply with platform policies, photos in underwear, jockstraps or bikini style bathing suits are no longer permitted in profile photos.”
In a statement on the site’s support page, Scuff CEO Eric Silverberg wrote, “All gay and queer apps must enforce app store content policies or risk being removed from the app stores altogether, and this happened to SCRUFF earlier this year.”
“Had this removal been permanent, it would have been devastating to our company and our community,” he added.
Silverberg didn’t elaborate which App Store had temporarily removed his app.
“The primary profile photo may not show jockstraps, underwear, or bikini-style swimwear,” explained the CEO.
Also, profile photos that show “sexually suggestive embraces” might not “align with App Store guidelines.”
Additional guidelines include:
• No exposed genitals (not even a small, tiny part)
• No visible erections or visible outline of genitalia in clothes.
• No shower shots
• No shots of genitalia obscured by towels or hands
• No cropping of shots to make the crotch focal point of the photo
• No collages or compositions of multiple photos
The complete list of no-no’s regarding profile photos is posted here.
"Given that Scruff is a community that speaks openly and positively about sex, bodies, and intimacy, some feel that such policies are at odds with those values,” wrote Silverberg in closing. “Such criticism is not unfounded,"
"Scruff respects the concerns voiced by our community on this matter, and we encourage everyone to continue to hold us, and all tech companies, accountable for the content and conduct standards we enforce,” he added.
The CEO told Out that all profile photos will be “graded on a case-by-case basis.” He also noted that the app doesn’t require a public profile photo.
Scruff had apparently received a warning earlier this month by distributors of their app with a warning on the subject following the recent ban of adult content on Tumblr.