Grindr has announced it will be removing its controversial ethnicity filter while announcing its commitment to fighting racism.
On Monday, the dating app released a statement in which it expressed its support for the Black Lives Matter movement, as well as “the hundreds of thousands of queer people of colour who log in to our app every day”.
“We will not be silent, and we will not be inactive,” Grindr wrote in the statement, which was shared to Twitter. “Today we are making donations to the Marsha P Johnson Institute and Black Lives Matter and encourage you to do the same, if you can.
Download the new Independent Premium app
Sharing the full story, not just the headlines
“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.”
Currently, Grindr allows users to filter potential matches by age, height, weight and ethnicity.
On Instagram, the LGBT online dating platform also said it had postponed its Pride Month initiative as it “no longer feels appropriate” “in light of the ongoing violence and injustices against our POC family”.
“How can we launch a month of celebration when so many of us are hurting?” Grindr said. “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?”
In response to the app’s announcement, which comes as people around the world continue to protest the killing of George Floyd by a white police officer, many users criticised Grindr for “doing the bare minimum” – and for having the filter in the first place.
“If anyone wants an example of doing the bare minimum, it’s right here,” one person tweeted.
Another said: “Omg you STILL had the ethnicity filter???”
“Nice statement, but it is 2020 and it only took mass protests in response to countless unarmed black men being murdered by the state to get Grindr to remove the ability to filter out Black people on the app. Hooray for progress?” someone else wrote.
Others called on the app to also implement a feature that would allow users to report racism on Grindr.
“Now make it possible to report people for racism,” another person tweeted.
The Independent has contacted Grindr for comment.