Grindr has announced that it will remove its ethnicity filter in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.
The LGBTQ dating app posted the announcement on social media Monday (June 1), indicating that they also made donations to organizations fighting for the cause.
“We will not be silent, and we will not be inactive,” the statement posted to Twitter and Instagram reads. “Today we are making donations to the Marsha P. Johnson Institute and Black Lives Matter and urge you to do the same if you can. We will continue to fight racism on Grindr, both through dialogue with our community and a zero-tolerance policy for racism and hate speech on our platform. As part of this commitment, and based on your feedback, we have decided to remove the ethnicity filter from our next release.”
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We will not be silent. Black lives matter. We were planning to announce our #PridePerseveres initiative today, but in light of the ongoing violence and injustices against our POC family, that no longer feels appropriate. How can we launch a month of celebration when so many of us are hurting? How can we celebrate Pride without acknowledging that we wouldn’t even HAVE a Pride month if it weren’t for the brave black, brown, trans, and queer folks whose uprising against the police at Stonewall gave birth to the modern LGBTQ+ rights movement? It is our responsibility to speak out against the hate and violence that such a vital part of our community continue to face. We stand in solidarity with the #BlackLivesMatter movement and the hundreds of thousands of queer people of color who log in to our app every day. We will not be silent, and we will not be inactive. Today we are making donations to the Marsha P. Johnson Institute @mpjinstitute and Black Lives Matter @blklivesmatter, and urge you to do the same if you can (links in bio). We will continue to fight racism on Grindr, both through dialogue with our community and a zero-tolerance policy for racism and hate speech on our platform. As part of this commitment, and based on your feedback, we have decided to remove the ethnicity filter from our next release. Tomorrow, we will announce our #PridePerseveres calendar, but in a different light. Yes, we can still come together in the spirit of Pride, but Pride this year has an added responsibility, a shifted tone, and a new priority that will be reflected in our programming—support and solidarity for queer people of color and the #BlackLivesMatter movement.
Grindr has not indicated how much they have donated or when the next release will be issued.
A study from 2015 found that 15 percent of Grindr users explicitly wrote racist preferences or discriminatory rhetoric on their profiles. A similar study published in 2019 found that men of color experiences “significantly more race-based sexual discrimination” which was linked to lower self-esteem and life satisfaction.
The announcement from Grindr comes as Black Lives Matter protests erupt across the country following the murder of George Floyd, an innocent black man who was killed by police in Minnesota. Seventy-five LGBTQ groups have stood in solidarity with the movement and declared anti-racism and an end to white supremacy an integral objective of their groups.