What Gives? Grindr Is Suspending Users’ Accounts With No Explanation

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This weekend I happened upon a conversation regarding the hookup app Grindr. I was making my usual rounds in a few private, gay mens’ Facebook groups when someone posted  the following:

Facebook Screenshots

“I just saw many people getting banned on Grindr. Anyone been banned from Grindr recently?”

Quickly, other Grindr subscribers in the group began to share stories of recently being arbitrarily banned from the app for violating the policies. However, in nearly every instance, the subscribers claimed to have done nothing wrong. They also collectively complained that they were given no reason for the ban despite their attempts to inquire and get reinstated.

 One user, David, shared,

“I got banned for no reason, and Grindr doesn’t respond to their emails when you inquire as to why you’re banned.”

Another user, Rocky, shared, 

“Yes, I got banned, and never got a reason why.”

Moments later in the thread, a third user named James chimed in,

“I got banded about a month ago and still don’t know why; all I can say is f*ck Grindr!”

Why this is happening is anyone’s guess. Still, some men feel targeted because the bans occurred after they sent another user their nude pics.  Juan, a young 20- something, explained that after he sent nudes to another subscriber, he abruptly received a strange message that his account was suspended. It further directed him to go into the Apple Store and cancel his subscription:


Juan claims there was nothing out of the ordinary about the pics he had shared. Just as others have stated, he too was unable to get any assistance or information about the suspension of his account. 

Grindr’s entire premise and construct is to meet others for dates, hook-ups, consensual encounters, etc. That’s initiated through the chat feature, which allows sexually explicit photos to be sent privately. So, if that now violates policy, it’s absurd not to inform the site’s subscribers.

The conversation quickly turned to one of speculation. Some of the men in the group claiming censorship, homophobia, or some phobia were the reasons for the suspended accounts. Homophobia seems far-fetched, considering it’s a gay dating app but as Juan shared more of his ordeal, perhaps here was another reason for his suspension, 

“My story is that I recently started to dress as a female, and apparently I got blocked for messaging people back. My inbox had been full since September 9th. I can’t control whoever wanted to message me.”

Juan seems to be speculating that maybe there is discrimination on the app against crossdressers, drag queens, or trans community members? Possibly though, if he were messaging multiple people back within a short window of time, his account might have gotten flagged incorrectly as spam account. That has happened. However, if nobody from the app’s customer service department responds to inquiries, how would Juan ever know?

Whereas many group members thought China still owned the app, it was sold to San Vicente Acquisition, a Los Angeles firm, in 2020, just four years after China originally acquired it. With that information, Facebook user Rizzo was determined to find out why the app suspended him without incident and then further blocked his IP address so he could not even make a new account.

According to Rizzo, 

“It’s crazy. They banned me and can’t provide a reason. I went on LinkedIn and messaged the new CEO – who is straight. Grindr was bought by 3 straight men. There ya go!”

I reached out to Grindr for comment, and as yet, no response. It’s worth noting that according to user response on the app overall, it has one of the worst global consumer ratings of its genre. Take, for example, the review site Testpilot, where in Australia, the app has 1 star out of 5 and a 91% Bad rating out of 100. Making matters worse, Grinder is increasingly becoming more inundated with fake accounts, catfishing schemes, and solicitations. Not to mention that significant snafu over a year ago when the app was caught peddling users’ private information, including HIV status, to third party tech companies.

Combined with Grindr’s rather audaciously expensive monthly subscription pricing, this all equates to increasing unpopularity. The writing’s on the wall, and a mass exodus from the app is already happening. Gay men are canceling subscriptions and feeling more comfortable with competitors, including Scruff, Manhunt, Prowler, and Hornet.

I have no idea what’s going on in Grindr’s corporate boardroom, but the brand better take notice because it’s just five minutes away from becoming the Myspace of gay dating apps.

 

28 thoughts on “What Gives? Grindr Is Suspending Users’ Accounts With No Explanation”

  1. when birthday is today and I become 18 but they banned me for no reason… lmaooo! also 2 years ago already. they still not let me go to grindr.

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  2. I got banned too, after using the app for 6 yrs with no issues. Like all the above, no reason and no explanation from the “appeals” process that just said violation of whatever. I 100% did not violate any of their rules.

    I then left a detailed review on Apple store and Google play with one star, sadly there’s no zero star option. Then upon reading the other reviews on both sites, there are loads of others having the same issue. Some with replies from Grindr LLC, stating “why would be ban users for no good reason!” Our point exactly. It’s such a poor business model unless you’re trying to drive the business out of business, which is what will happen.

    My friend, I spoke with a few hours ago, he’s on Grindr too, me he can still see my profile online on n off too, last seeing me online yesterday. My ban happened about a month ago, which means guys I was in contact with may be messaging me and think I’m ignoring them, which I never do, there’s enough ignorant idiots on there as it is…

    My friend had contacted me, as of this morning he had the banned message appear too when he opened his Grindr app approaching lunchtime, he just closed it and got on with his day, then he opened it again around 18:00 and it was back and working again! Wtf is going on with Grindr?!?

    Anyone know a decent alternate app? I live in a place that has no local gay places at all to be able to get an offline gay life, Grindr has completely mucked up my sex life and taken away a lot of friends I had made on the app too. F ing hate them right now for that. Anyway rant over and see you on another, gay owned this time, app.

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    • I have an update to my above essay.

      The error code I got from the banned page that came up on the app was error:27 btw.

      Ed, from Grindr support got in touch with a generic response just now, to which I have replied, along with his requested info. So I’m still waiting for my account to be unbanned at this time.

      I think someone reported me as being underage, I’ve only ever updated the app and not re downloaded it for a very long time.

      But it basically said “We have reason to believe you are underage” etc etc please join us on your 18th birthday etc.

      If you’re not underage the please provide proof in all the following ways.

      1. Type your email address, above this line, electronically. The email address you signed into Grindr with.

      2. Write the same email address clearly on a piece of paper. ( I did so in clear and large font)

      3. Take a photo with the piece of paper near your face and send it to us.

      4. Take a photo of a government issued ID, that shows your face, date of birth and name. ( I sent my drivers licence with the piece of paper with my email on as background)

      Once you send these materials, we will review the information against your profile info etc and reinstate your account. Either way, we will destroy your verification details and make a note on your account so this doesn’t happen again. Etc etc apologies for inconvenience etc.

      So hopefully that’s that sorted…. I’ll update here if it goes wrong but assume it has gone right. I hope this helps someone.

      Seems the “Error 27” code means that they think you are underage. Even though you can’t even download the app from the play store without verifying your age first, I believe it’s the same with the Apple App Store now too.

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      • Here’s a further update…

        I’m still banned on Grindr, 2 days after sending in my proof of age in reply to Ed’s age proof request, I had another reply, directly replied from the email I sent with the photo proof I sent in, it even had the pics I’d attached as proof attached with it. As emails do…

        This time, from someone called Chris, basically stating that my ban decision was final and no further appeal can be made. It appeared that he/she had not even read my reply and just pasted the generic “no reason given” reply in. So I started replying again daily to the email that Ed had sent, what could they do? Ban me? Lol My intention being to annoy them as much as they are annoying me and flood their messages, they only way I’d stop is if I’m reinstated.

        Then I got an notice email from the Google play store, saying that the Grindr developer had replied to my review on the play store. This had the usual generic response, saying they wouldn’t ban members for no good reason etc and I should email them using their email address of hello@grindr.com and to fully explain what had happened and that they would take another look into my ban. So I did so.

        I then got a reply yesterday 10th August, saying they had escalated my case to a senior member of the team., this was signed off as being from “Community Advocate”., no name, just that. We’ll see..

        Also, which may be related, I then received and email from Google saying they had changed my Google account settings. The following stated in the body of the text:

        “For a more age-appropriate experience, Google has changed some of your settings because you aren’t confirmed to be over 18. If you”re 18 or older you can verify your age when you check your settings”

        With a button below saying “check settings”. So I checked my settings, my birthday was correct and my age shown as verified. Which I had done to just be able to even download the Grindr app. So I am now also messaging with Google to see what is going on there, as I feel it may be related to Grindr suddenly banning me out of the blue.

        Google replied saying they were aware of an issue where some of their systems have trouble reading the age verification data and I may be one of the thousands affected by it, they are working on the problem but no fixed date can be given as to when the issue will be corrected but hopefully it will be soon.

        So from what I can now gather, this is a Google issue and is their own systems being unable to read their age verification data properly. Which then notifies age restricted apps like Grindr that a user is underage, then the user gets banned automatically by the age restricted apps, who are not wishing for their app to be taken off the platform, be it The App or Play Store.

        It’s now understandable but doesn’t sort out the problem, myself and many innocent others have been banned due to a technical error caused by Google but the response from Grindr “help” is still extremely unhelpful and in my opinion a disgusting way to treat its members by not even giving a reason for the ban in most cases and their totalitarianism in stating their decision is “Final!”

        I’ll update again here, on my issue as it progresses but hopefully this will give some people an idea of what is going on and why they may be banned for no apparent reason… which is infuriating!

        As an aside, I have started using Scruff again after a 2 year break, and found lots of guys I chatted with, who have had the same ban issue from Grindr and simply taken their business there.

        Reply
  3. Iv just been banned today – I appealed and for a response from Rose saying they cannot provide me with anymore info and will not reply to anymore message relating to my account. I don’t think I did anything wrong – I certainly don’t recall breaking the rules. Tried setting up a new account using a different email and still couldn’t access it. This is after I paid the monthly subscription!

    I won’t let this matter rest though

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  4. Thanks for banning me Grindr for “no reason” other then trolls false reporting because my big D was to much of big threat.. you gave me my life back!

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  5. I was banned yesterday and that was my 3rd time, the first time was because I looked under 18, the 2nd was because I was helping a friend out to see if he was banned, and after 6 days of me hiding behind a my paid subscription to stay on the app I was banned yesterday when Monday night all my conversation was going well. I told grindr what was going on and nothing so yeah I’m staying off the app permanently.

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  6. Got banned for no reason i attached proof that fraud happened and they said nope suspension. Why have appeals page when your not going to reinstate. Class action lawsuit here we come

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    • I just got banned yesterday (10.13.21) and one and the same – bs – no reasons provided for the ban, whatsoever. I exchanged a few emails with “Rose” from the Grindr customer support, who is repeating over and over again my violation of terms of use and policies without providing any specific examples. I am not giving up. The account was banned and subscription canceled – of course money was not returned. All our cases should be taken together and Grindr should be taken to Court. Imagine how many individuals who paid subscription they canceled and took their money. Grindr was for years owned by one Chinese company. Imagine the scope of this whole nonsense: Grindr was profiting from individuals who would be persecuted because of their homosexuality in the country of the company that owned Grindr. And since in China there is no private company but everything is owned by the Chinese Communist Government – LGBTQ individuals across the globe were paying Government that would persecute, torture, and maybe even kill them for their sexual orientation. LGBTQ community should abandon Grindr. I have no desire to go back on Grindr, but I will not give up until I get a document stating what rules I violated and money back for the subscription paid.

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  7. I was just banned. I have no clue why. No NUDES etc. I am dumbfounded. This has never happened before. They did not give me a reason. It makes no sense unless they are randomly targeting people who are using the app and not paying for their services. That’s the only thing I can think of.

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  8. I created a Grindr profile a few years ago and within an hour my account was banned. I hadn’t even made contact with anyone and had just been exploring the site.

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  9. I heard rumors about Grindr banning users for no reason but never believed them…. until it happened to me a few days ago! They responded with the (untrue) reason but never gave a chance to appeal or at least send any evidence.

    Will not be renewing my subscription, and won’t be buying anything they advertise. It will take some time, but I hope the gay community gets rid of Grindr and its greedy, whimsical, power-hungry norms.

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  10. Grindr Community Standards is trash, you get banned for no reason and they will tell you in the email that their decision is final? Bullshit app

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  11. I was banned after telling a guy that he was a piece of trash and to f*** off, because he asked me to pnp (which means to have sex while high on meth). If Grindr wants to say I’m mean for saying that..:whatever. The app is rampant with men who use meth.

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  12. Honestly I am so happy I got banned. Grindr is really a mind sickening app, that literally steals your life away. Be happy= You got your life back! Flirt with guys in the street, club or old fashioned gay bar. aaahhhh good memories!

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    • Reading this comment made my entire day! You are so right, ever since I got banned, I got my life back too; and I’m so happy about it. 😊

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  13. Yep – same thing happened just after I paid $$$ for a renewal. I got my cash after an appeal to Apple after contesting the issue. Still no response from Grindr though.

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  14. Same thing happened to me today, but the most ironic thing is that the ban happened AFTER I had cleared the text portion of my profile. Seriously? 🙄 Grindr really needs to step up their game.

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  15. Had similar experience, and then said they couldn’t state why due to privacy, on MY account….. Baffled.

    What happens to profiles once they’re banned? Are users not supposed to be able to access and delete their data? Sure there must be some sort of regulation they’re breaching, if not 100’s more.

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  16. Same here i was banne for no reason, i upload my face pic (3) pictures then after reviewing it they banned me! My pictures were legit and no nudity its my face pic only lol.

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  17. I barely used the app. Check in every so often to acknowledge messages. My pictures are decent. I recently installed the latest version which erased my chat history then a few days later I was banned.

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  18. Mine too! I got banned for no reason and when I got response they just say oh your banned and we can’t give you a reason for being banned

    Reply

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