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Popular dating app Grindr has said that it will remove its app’s ethnicity filter in a coming update, following years of criticism.
The LGBTQ-focused app currently lets paying users filter potential matches by preferences, including age, height, weight and ethnicity. Grindr is not the only dating app to allow users to filter out people of certain ethnicities.
The company made the decision in response to ongoing protests in the United States against police brutality towards black people. The protests, which have swept across cities in the US for over a week, were sparked by the killing of George Floyd by a white Minneapolis police officer on May 25.
“We will not be silent, and we will not be inactive,” the company said in a tweet, following the lead of several other companies that have posted messages in support of the protests and the Black Lives Matter movement.
The company went on to say that it had a “zero-tolerance policy for racism and hate speech” on its platform and that it was making donations to the Marsha P. Johnson Institute and Black Lives Matter. Grindr urged others to do the same.
Grinder has been plagued by reports that its users have been victims of discrimination.
While some have praised the company for taking action, others accused Grindr of doing the “bare minimum."
The company has received criticism for waiting until now to take this step, as it has faced calls to remove the ethnicity filter for several years now. Grindr’s anti-racism campaign, titled “Kindr” launched in 2018, and at the time the company denied calls to remove the filter, maintaining that it was in place to make it easier for ethnic minorities to match with each other.
On May 29, Grindr tweeted, “Demand justice. #BlackLivesMatter,” which led users to call the company out for hypocrisy.
Grindr later deleted the tweet and posted on June 1 about the ethnicity filter change, but even then critics accused Grinder of only implementing the change as a result of white people speaking up on social media.
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