Tinder to launch 'travel alert' for LGBTQ users visiting countries with discriminatory laws
© Tinder

Popular dating app Tinder has introduced a new feature for LGBTQ users that will alert them when they are in a country that has “laws effectively criminalizing LGBTQ status,” the company announced Wednesday.

The company said its Traveler Alert feature aims to "ensure that our users are aware of the potential dangers the LGBTQ community faces — so that they can take extra caution and do not unknowingly place themselves in danger for simply being themselves.” 

ADVERTISEMENT

The feature allows LGBTQ users to hide their profiles after seeing the travel alert. Users can choose to remain hidden while in the app or make their profile public. If the user does choose to appear publicly on Tinder, their sexual orientation and gender identity will not be displayed until they leave the country.

“We fundamentally believe that everyone should be able to love who they want to love — and we strive to reflect this in everything we do at Tinder. It is unthinkable that, in 2019, there are still countries with legislation in place that deprives people of this basic right,” Tinder CEO Elie Seidman said in a statement to The Hill.

The company said the feature will be rolled out “in the coming days” and will also pop up when users enable the app’s “passport” feature, which allows them to "match" with people elsewhere in the world.

Tinder said it worked with the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex World Association to determine where the Traveler Alert will be implemented. The federation is “dedicated to achieving equal rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex (LGBTI) people across the globe,” according to their website.

The app also updated its safety website with new information for LGBTQ+ users, warning them to “exercise extra caution if you choose to connect with new people in these countries - as some law enforcement have been known to use dating apps as tools for potential entrapment."  

The feature comes after Tinder released a new feature last month allowing users to choose three out of nine potential options for their sexuality, including straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, asexual, demisexual, pansexual, queer and questioning.

Tinder encouraged its users to contact their senators to support the Equality Act, a bill introduced earlier this year to amend the Civil Right Act of 1964 to protect LGBTQ people from discrimination. The push came alongside the app’s initiative offering free advertising to nonprofit organizations “dedicated to driving social, political and cultural equality,” according to a statement provided to The Hill on Wednesday.