Grindr: On Friday, a popular homosexual social networking platform announced that it was going to alert Egyptian users about police impersonating gang members in order to harm LGBTQ people.
Users in Egypt will see the following warning appear in Arabic and English when they open the app: “We have been alerted that Egyptian police is actively making arrests of gay, bi, and trans people on digital platforms. They are using fake accounts and have also taken over accounts from real community members who have already been arrested and had their phones taken. Please take extra caution online and offline, including with accounts that may have seemed legitimate in the past.”
Although homosexuality is not strictly illegal in Egypt, individuals of the LGBTQ community are often accused of debauchery or breaking public morality and are subject to legal proceedings. Seven individuals were apprehended in 2017 for waving a pride flag at a rock show.
Arrests of homosexuals and nonconforming individuals are nevertheless frequent. Requests for clarification on Grindr’s new policy were not answered immediately by a press spokesperson for the Egyptian government.
The alert to users follows reports from rights activists and the press about just how regional governments are aggressively using digital platforms to attack the LGBTQ community.
In accordance with a study that was released in February by Human Rights Watch, security services in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, and Tunisia have been involved in extortion, harassment, public exposure, and imprisonment of LGBTQ individuals due to their actions on Facebook, Instagram, and the dating website Grindr.
The publication also criticized big internet firms for underfunding content moderation and security for Arabic-language web pages.
“Grindr is working with groups on the ground in Egypt to make sure our users have up-to-date information on how to stay safe, and we are pushing international organizations and governments to demand justice and safety for the Egyptian LGBTQ community,” said Grindr spokesperson Patrick Lenihan in response to a request for comment on Friday.
The popular gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer dating app Grindr, which is located in California, has been accused of misconduct in the United States and has also been penalized in Norway for providing private data to outside parties that may possibly be used to identify individuals.
The firm’s site’s privacy statement indicates how it utilizes and attempts to safeguard user information. It continues by stating that its aim “is to put you in control of as much of the Personal Information that you share within the Grindr Properties as possible”