@Grindr

Grindr Announces Plan To Take Stock Public To Strengthen Competitiveness

Some financial experts say if you want to invest your money in the stock market, you should buy stock in companies you use and like.

With that in mind, it might be of interest to know Grindr, the gay dating app, has announced plans for an IPO (Initial Public Offering).

The BBC is reporting that Grindr’s Chinese parent company, Kunlun Group, has given its approval for the offering although the plan still needs approval by the shareholder board. The company said in a public filing that taking the stock public would “strengthen” its competitiveness.

Launched in 2009 in New York, the Chinese tech company bought a 61.5% majority ownership in 2016 for $93 million, and then took over completely this past January purchasing the remaining shares for $152 million.

Based in West Hollywood, California, the popular dating app has over 27 million LGBT users around the world.

Interestingly, although owned by a Chinese firm, Grindr has not been made available to China. According to the South China Morning Post, the most popular dating app there is Beijing-based Blued which claims to have 40 million registered users.

SCMP reports the timing of the listing will be dependent on international capital market conditions and approval from regulators.

Like other internet-based services this year, however, there have been some issues raised regarding potential privacy violations.

Earlier this year, The Washington Post reported that U.S. intelligence experts have expressed concern that the app could be used to mine data from its millions of customers by the Chinese government.

Grindr has stated that data sharing is a common practice and that it has safe guards in place to protect its private information.

As many of Instinct readers may know (from experience?), Grindr has millions of active users each day.

The Irish Times says an average of 228 million messages and 20 million photos are shared on Grindr every single day.

With that many customers, it could be an opportunity to buy (at) the bottom and sell (at) the top.

What do you think, readers? Would you buy stock in Grindr?

Are You Ready for a 'Kindr' Grindr Experience?

For all the Grindr users out there…things are about to change. One of the most popular hookup/dating apps for the LGBTQ community is taking a stand on cyber discrimination. The app, which is traditionally used by gay men, has been the center of controversy for some time because of the way its users use the tool as a means to ostracize and demean other users.  Well, Grindr is brewing something with a campaign called Kindr to which they say “It’s time to play nice.”

The app just released a very cryptic site: kindr.grindr.com that features the Grindr logo with the word “Kindr” and a voice over from various individuals speaking about discrimination they have encountered while on apps. The site states that changes are coming in September 2018.

One of the voices heard on the site says: When someone says something like I don’t date black people, that’s all black people, that’s what I refer to as sexual racism.

Recently, one man stated he was gathering co-plaintiffs for a class action lawsuit against Grindr because the app allows discrimination against users—primarily Asians. CEO and foundr of the Asian Entertainment Television company, Sinakhone Keodara tweeted earlier this month that he was challenging the app because too many users include phrases such as ‘no Asians’ or ‘not interested in Asians’ or ‘I don’t find Asians attractive’ in their profiles.

Just this week, conservative journalist Chadwick Moore was blocked from Grindr for using transphobic phrasing in his profile. Under gender, Moore wrote “There are only 2” and he was blocked by the app. Moore went on a Twitter tirade calling out the company for allowing many unlawful activities to occur on the app. He even Tweeted the FBI about it.

Shortly after, Grindr threw some excellent shade at Moore by putting into production a t-shirt that reads “Grindr is a Construct” with a Tweet that read “The Future if Fluid”. Was this a foreshadowing of what is to come with the app?

Are these public actions by users on both sides of the spectrum the reason for Grindr finally stepping up to re-evaluate its power to build people up or break them down?

Many have commented about how this is Grindr’s way of controlling who they can and cannot meet up with. The age-old question about preference vs. discrimination that dominates the LGBTQ dating community.

 

*sound on* It’s time to play nice. Dropping September 2018.

A post shared by Grindr (@grindr) on

So what do ya’ll think about this?

h/t: Grindr

Alt-Right Journalist Goes on Transphobic Rant After Being Censored by Grindr

Conservative journalist Chadwick Moore recently got blocked from Grindr for using some words on his profile that were deemed transphobic. This is not the first time the journalist has been surrounded by controversy.

Recently, Queerty and other media outlets reported Moore claimed had been kicked out of the gay bar in Brooklyn because he is a Republican—the real reason being his brother-in-law got into a fight with some other bar patrons.

The whole Grindr debacle began when under the gender question, Moore wrote “There are only 2”. He was then shocked to find that Grindr had censored him for using banned words. Well, Miss Mary was not having it!

Moore did not stop there, however. He continued to post various other Tweets that gave the popular hook-up app a piece of his mind:

The pièce de résistance is when Moore includes the FBI in a tweet trying to call out Grindr for some unlawful activity:

We would have loved to have seen what the rest of what the profile said.

h/t: Queerty, Chadwick Moore

One Man Hopes to End Discrimination on Hookup Apps

We’ve all seen it. “No fats, no femmes, no Asians, white only” the list goes on and on. It’s one of the most topical points of discrimination among online dating and hook up apps. Maybe you’ve even felt this rejection in other areas of your life.

Late last year, Chappy App launched in the hopes to rid the effects of discrimination users feel when looking for a match.

Statements such as the ones above may be confused for preference, but in reality, they create hostility and division among the LGBTQ community, further perpetuating the stereotypes that we are all superficial.

Well, one particular guy has had it! Sinakhone Keodara, CEO and founder of the Asian Entertainment Television company, has had enough.

Keodara posted a call on Twitter in hopes of spearheading a class action lawsuit against hookup app giant Grindr. Keodara is fed up with the app allowing users to write ‘no Asians’ or ‘not interested in Asians’ or ‘I don’t find Asians attractive’ in their profiles. Again, is this preference or racism?

Keodara’s goal is to find men in all 50 states to join him as co-plaintiffs and hopefully bring down Grindr for their lack of attention to this issue. He hopes to speak up for all the Asian men who have “been offended, humiliated, degraded and dehumanized.”

 

 

Just last week we reported about the Muscle Bear Facebook group that discriminated against new group members by saying:

If you are Asian or African, do not join the group because it will be blocked from this group.

Super cute, guys!

It’s obvious that every single person has a bias, but what everyone should also have is a filter. Just because you’re thinking it or wishing it, why would you degrade or ridicule others? It’s a matter of common decency. Trust me—if you’re a d*ck, no one’s gonna wanna f*ck you anyway!

Let’s see where this Grindr lawsuit is headed. Grindr has not responded publicly to Keodara’s post. Does this have potential to create change for all apps?

h/t: Sinakhone Keodara Twitter

 

Even Though They've Changed Their Ways, Grindr May Still Need To Answer To Congress And Its Users.

Grindr has stated that they will stop sharing as much information as they have been, namely the HIV status of its users, but is a sorry good enough?

Have you deleted Facebook yet?  What about Grindr?  I did do a tech cleanse last week where I deleted my yahoo and hotmail accounts.  Yep,  I still had those, but knowing that breaches in security have already happened, it was time to delete ... delete ... delete. Will I do another cleanse and get rid of two of The Most Time Consuming Social Network Apps (Are Revealed)?

Yes,  Grindr is #1 and Facebook is #2 (read the article linked above to see where Instagram surprisingly comes in). Do we have the cajones to cut the ties with these two powerhouses of social media?

In a post I shared my HIV status with Grindr – now I feel betrayed on the new statesman, the author Matt Jones elaborates:

Grindr is an app which uses locational data to help users, mainly gay and bisexual men, find other users in the area. Users are able (but not obliged) to state their HIV status on their profile; as a young gay man living with HIV, I recently put on my profile that I’m positive and undetectable. Despite being very open about my status, and not posing a risk to anyone, it was still a difficult decision to say to hundreds of strangers: “I’ve got HIV”.

But that was a consenting choice. Yes, it is public – anyone can download Grindr – but I also consider the app to be a safe space where, broadly, I know what type of person will see my status. I did not consent to Grindr sharing that data with others, and was a gross breach of the trust I’ve placed in the app.

The company has long been a supporter of the LGBTQ+ community and PLWHIV, but rather than showing any contrition or trying to make amends, Grindr has vehemently defended its actions in a fiery Tumblr post. - newstatesman.com

 

 

Well, hmmm.  What did you think of that ? You can read some of the comments on tumblr, like ...

What an empty, unoriginal statement. This is the faceless chest pic of PR responses.Just when you think a company...

and

You guys should just close up now. No one cares about your efforts or industry standards. You betrayed the LGBT community in more than just the one way.

I can see that companies can dot their i's and cross their t's, but sometimes you need to put that heart over the i so it shows that you actually care.

From Axios.com, we learn that more than Grindr users and those of us in the LGBTQ+ community are taking note of the "issue."

Democratic Senators Edward J. Markey and Richard Blumenthal on Tuesday sent a letter to the CEO of Grindr, demanding answers to questions about Grindr's privacy policies. 

...

A Grindr spokesperson told Axios: "We welcome the questions about our policies and always look for opportunities to improve." - Axios.com

Well, the senators did ask questions, 13 of them to be exact. Here is some of the letter

Where are you on this?  Does Grindr need to go to Washington?  Or are they okay with what they did? As a business, they put out there what they do with users' information and they followed through and did it.  It's not their fault we all skip down to the bottom and click agree.

Is the issue similar to Martin Shkreli's doings?  Sure, you can raise the price of medication and make tons of profit, but should you?

I still have my Grindr.  It comes in handy when I travel to different countries or some corners of the country that don't have a larger and better pool of real men on Scruff and Growlr with personalities and bios with actual faces and information.

And I think that is what amazes me.  Grindr is the app where we see the least amount of info about the guy on the other side. Men on Scruff and Growlr are more open and informative.  But, we do share this kind of information on other dating apps like Sruff and Growlr.  Do we need to look at their best practices, too?

I still have Grindr and my 18 other hook up apps that I "use for research," but then again, I still have my AOL email address from 1994 and use it every single day.

h/t: Axios.com, newstatesman.com

 

This post shares the opinions of one of the contributing writers of Instinct Magazine.  It does not represent the magazine's beliefs or the beliefs of the other Contributing Writers.

Grindr is sharing your HIV Status as well as other personal info!

According to extrapolated data from a research analysis, it has been revealed that Grindr is sharing your HIV status (among other sensitive data) with two other independent companies. This news has been independently verified by BuzzFeed News and confirmed by cybersecurity experts who analyzed data captured by the Norwegian nonprofit SINTEF.  

Apptimize and Localyptics, the two companies in question, seek to help other mobile companies including Grindr optimize their apps. It’s been confirmed they receive private and personal information from Grindr profiles such as HIV statuses, “last tested dates,” and more.

According to Antoine Pultier, a researcher at SINTEF, the nonprofit that first identified the data breach, specific users and their HIV status could be identified because HIV information is sent together with other user data such as GPS location, phone ID, and email. Pultier specified that the HIV data on Grindr is linked with other information and it may be due to incompetence from some developers that happened to send along all information including private and personal data.

The app, which offers free ads for HIV-testing sites and debuted an optional feature that would remind users to get tested every few months, is now being called into question for how seriously it takes its users data.

SINTEF’s analysis also showed that Grindr was sharing additional user information like their precise GPS position, “Tribe” (meaning what gay subculture they identify with), sexuality, relationship status, ethnicity, and phone ID to other data collectors and advertising agencies. Some of which was sometimes shared via “plain text,” which can be easily hacked from outside sources.

“It allows anybody who is running the network or who can monitor the network – such as a hacker or a criminal with a little bit of tech knowledge, or your ISP or your government – to see what your location is,” Cooper Quintin, a senior staff technologist and security researcher at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, told BuzzFeed News.

“When you combine this with an app like Grindr that is primarily aimed at people who may be at risk – especially depending on the country they live in or depending on how homophobic the local populace is – this is an especially bad practice that can put their user safety at risk,” Quintin added.

Under the app’s HIV status category, users can select from a variety of statuses, which include whether the user is positive, positive and on HIV treatment, negative or negative and on PrEP. The app also links to a sexual health FAQ about HIV and how to get PrEP in your local area.  

Following the disclosure of HIV status, questions are now being raised about Grindr’s privacy policy, which states:

“You may also have the option to provide information concerning health characteristics, such as your HIV status, or Last Tested Date. Remember that if you choose to include information in your profile, and make your profile public, that information will also become public.”

However, despite this, the average person may not comprehend or fully consider what they’ve agreed to when signing up. A few experts are now arguing that Grindr should be more specific in its user agreements about how its using their data.

“What the law regards as informed consent is in almost all instances uninformed consent,” Ben Wizner, director of the ACLU Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project, told BuzzFeed News. “I hope that one small silver lining here will be that users and citizens will realize that there are enormous loopholes in the privacy regime and that personal information is bought and sold freely on a global market.”

 

h/t: BuzzFeed

Threats on Grindr to Kill '85 F*ggots' Lead to Arrest

A simple conversation on Grindr between Montrese Hollar and Me’Shach Israel-Miller quickly took a turn for the worse when Miller threatened to kill 85 “faggots” at a gay club in Columbus, Ohio.

Hollar, who performs in drag as Dashe’ Desmond Rose in and around Columbus, was quick to screenshot the threats made by Miller and notify the police, according to NBC 4.

Hollar shared with NBC:

His response back was completely off the wall. When he mentioned 85 in my community. I’ve been an activist in my community since I was a teenager, and I just couldn’t let that go by.

The threat was not taken lightly and alerts went out to all the gay clubs in the greater Columbus area to be extra vigilant.

A manager at Union Cafe, David Emerson, a popular Columbus gay club, shared:

Word spreads fast in this community. It was probably one of the scariest weekends ever knowing there was someone out there who dislike us so much that they wanted to kill us. That’s awful.

Authorities were able to track down Miller using the dating app and he was is being held on charges of inducing panic and aggravated menacing.

Hollar is being seen as a hero who made the right choice to take action to the threat, to which Hollar has expressed:

I’m not a victim in this situation, I am not a hero, I’m just a member of the community who doesn’t stand for bullying or the threat of violence and I spoke up about it.