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Grindr Takes Stand Against Discrimination with “Kindr” Initiative

Grindr is about to get a lot Kindr.

Anyone who’s used Grindr (or any dating app, really) will have come across a fair few profiles that specifically state who they aren’t interested in talking to. Highlighting the need for a change in environment, Grindr has today kicked off its “Kindr” initiative, which will help create a more inclusive and welcoming environment on the app.

Built around a combination of community guidelines and enforcement policies, it’s hoped that the initiative will encourage users to be more polite and think twice about being discriminatory and disrespectful. A series of awareness-raising videos, highlighting experiences of discrimination within the app, aim to share the message of an inclusive world to those who don’t use the app as well.

“Sexual racism, transphobia, fat and femme shaming and further forms of othering such as stigmatization of HIV positive individuals are pervasive problems in the LGBTQ community,” said Landen Zumwalt, head of communications at Grindr. “These community issues get brought onto our platform, and as a leader in the gay dating space, Grindr has a responsibility to not only protect our users but also to set the standard for the broader community that we serve.”

“Like many of us, I was a user of Grindr before I started working here, so I was already familiar with the racism and issues faced by people of colour or non-masculine identifying people on the app,” said Zach Stafford, chief content officer at Grindr and editor-in-chief of INTO. “I joined Grindr because I saw an opportunity for the company to be a leader and social change agent.”

“Online discrimination has reached epidemic proportions affecting not only Grindr but other social networks. Our ‘Kindr’ initiative is a rallying call for Grindr and our community to take a stand against sexual racism and all forms of othering. Together, we will work to maintain a welcoming and inclusive environment and end the need for people to include exclusionary statements on profiles,” said Zumwalt.

“But this is not Grindr’s responsibility alone.”

The move has also been praised by UK Black Pride, Europe’s largest celebration for African, Asian, Middle Eastern, Latin American and Caribbean-heritage LGBTQ people. A spokesperson for the organisation said: “UK Black Pride welcomes and supports Grindr’s significant and bold new initiative to tackle racism, discrimination and prejudice, and its drive to foster an inclusive environment on its global and important platform.

Our movement depends on those in positions of power, those who can influence, doing what they must to ensure racism, sexism, misogyn(oir), transphobia and all forms of bullying are eradicated and we are impressed with the work spearheaded by Zach Stafford and his team.

“But this is not Grindr’s responsibility alone. While we are encouraged that Grindr is taking this step, we — as a community — must continue to fight for those most marginalised, create safe spaces for us and by us, and lead by example. Grindr’s new initiative means we now have one more tool in our battle, and one more much-needed safe space. We look forward to seeing the campaign unfold and experiencing a kinder Grindr for ourselves.”

The video campaign for Kindr, which will be rolled out over the next month, will feature RuPaul’s Drag Race contestant The Vixen as well as actor and original Queer Eye guy Jai Rodriguez.

Community Guidelines Establish a New Standard

New community guidelines will allow users to freely express themselves while also maintaining a welcoming and inclusive environment. Here’s what people should expect from Grindr’s global community and most importantly, from Grindr:

  • Grindr has a zero-tolerance policy for discrimination, harassment, and abusive behaviour. Be yourself, but not at the expense of someone else. Anyone found bullying, threatening, or defaming another user will be banned.
  • Grindr will also remove any discriminatory statements displayed on profiles. You’re free to express your preferences, but we’d rather hear about what you’re into, not what you aren’t. Profile language that is used to openly discriminate against other users’ traits and characteristics (“No fats, no fems, no Asians”) will no longer be tolerated and will be subject to review by Grindr’s moderation team.
  • If you see someone breaking the rules, please report them using the block button found in the upper right corner of their profile, and Grindr will take it from there. You may also encounter people on the app who upset or offend you without necessarily violating the guidelines. In those instances, we recommend using the block feature which will prevent you and the other user from seeing each other or having future contact

You can visit the Kindr website here, which has more information and resources available.

Written by QWEERIST editor

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