- Dating app Tinder has unveiled a new 'traveler alert' aimed at LGBTQ users who may face danger when traveling abroad to countries with discriminatory laws in place.
- The feature will trigger a safety update giving users the choice of keeping their profiles or their sexual orientation and gender identity information hidden.
- According to the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA), there are 70 countries around the world that criminalize consensual same-sex sexual acts between adults to varying extents.
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Dating app Tinder has started rolling out a new feature globally aimed at protecting LGBTQ users from harm in countries that discriminate against gay people.
The new 'traveler alert' will be triggered when Tinder users self-identifying as LGBTQ open the app in 70 countries around the world, giving them an option to remain hidden in those locations or not display their sexual orientation or gender identity information if they do choose to remain public.
The alert will also be triggered when app users have enabled the Tinder Passport function and are connecting or matching with people in locations around the world.
"It's important to remember that there are still nearly 70 countries around the world that have laws effectively criminalizing LGBTQ status," said a blog post on the Tinder website.
"[We want] 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."
Tinder worked with the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) to develop the list of countries where the alert will be triggered.
According to ILGA, there are 70 countries that still criminalize consensual same-sex sexual acts between adults to varying extents.
There are 11 countries around the world where LGBTQ people could face the death penalty including Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Iran, Sudan and Somalia, and an additional 26 countries where 10 years to life in prison could be enforced, according to ILGA.
Just nine countries have brought in constitutional protections against LGBTQ discrimination including Mexico, Bolivia, Portugal, Sweden and South Africa.
The US is one of only 8 countries believed to have "limited or uneven protections", along with Argentina, Japan and the Philippines.
Australia, Canada and Brazil are among the 52 countries that ILGA says have "broad protections" in place.