11:35 GMT +320 October 2019
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    Tinder Introduces New Safety Feature to Protect LGBTQ Travelers

    © AFP 2019 / LIONEL BONAVENTURE
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    Dating app Tinder is planning to introduce a new safety feature called Traveler Alert that will notify LGBTQ users and hide their profiles automatically when they are in a part of the world where same-sex relationships and acts are illegal.

    Tinder collaborated with the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association to identify 69 countries that criminalize same-sex activity. Nine of those countries, including Iran and Saudi Arabia, allow the death penalty to be imposed on people engaging in same-sex acts and relationships. In some countries, dating apps are used by police to identify people engaging in sexual activities deemed illegal, according to Tinder. 

    Tinder safety alert for travelers
    Tinder safety alert for travelers

    “Our LGBTQ community will no longer automatically appear on Tinder when they open the app in these areas. Once the alert is activated, users will have the choice to remain hidden while in that location or opt into making their profile public so that they can connect with new people. If a user chooses to be shown on Tinder - and has added sexual orientation or gender identity to their profile - it will not be displayed until they leave that area,” Tinder wrote in a Wednesday blog post.

    The latest announcement comes after Tinder added new sexual orientation options in June. While the app previously only allowed users to select “men,” “women” or “both” under preferences, they can now select up to three out of nine sexual orientation options: straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, asexual, demisexual, pansexual, queer and questioning. 

    “As our team discussed the ability to add your orientation to your profile and display it, the conversation quickly shifted to focus on how this could put users in some areas at risk. Before rolling out Orientations more widely, we wanted to build an update to address this and work with the experts to do so,” Tinder CEO Elie Seidman said in a statement, according to multiple news sources.

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