- The Magazine
By Bailey Vogt on March 20, 2018
A local developer is getting attention for a website that allows Grindr users to see who has blocked them.
C*ckBlocked lets Grindr users input their username and password, and then displays the profiles that have blocked them from view — data not accessible through the standard Grindr app.
Trever Faden, who currently runs a real estate tech company in the D.C. area, created the application in his spare time after recently becoming single.
“I downloaded Grindr, and as soon as I downloaded it and I opened it up, I realized, ‘Wow, there’s a lot of really interesting data here,'” he says.
Faden found that when the block feature is used, both the people they have blocked and the people that have blocked them are stored within a user’s profile. While inaccessible through the app itself, it can be detected within the code of Grindr.
“[Grindr blocking data] returns two lists — the profile IDs of the people that you’ve blocked, and then a list of people that you’ve been blocked by. I thought that was interesting because it makes sense that you would be able to see a list of all the people that you’ve blocked.”
Faden then created C*ckBlocked, which takes the hidden information and visualizes it, by latching into Grindr’s private APIs.
Since launching last week, the website has already had 30,000 users check to see who has blocked their profile. Faden has been tracking its spread on social media, and says his creation has led to some interesting stories.
“I’ve heard people say, ‘Oh, I’ve seen my significant other on here that said he wasn’t on the app,'” he says. “I also saw somebody who said they noticed someone who infected them with HIV and still isn’t declaring their status, and blocked their profile on Grindr.”
As tempting as it may be to discover exactly who has blocked your profile, some have expressed concern about what Faden is doing with their login information. The developer says he does not have access to anything more than the user’s email.
“Instead of me having to let you store your password on your computer in clear text, you can store an authentication token,” Faden says. “You’re the only person who has the keys. It’s you and Grindr. I’m just a guy in the middle kind of throwing things on both sides.”
If a Grindr user wants to learn who has shielded them from view, Faden suggest they do it quickly, as his website may lose accessibility soon.
“I would imagine they will try to shut me down very quickly,” he says. “They could just block that traffic, so that way nobody could use the app that I built, because if a request tries to go out from the server, it will just basically block it.“
Faden says he might poke around in other dating service apps to see whether C*ckBlocked will work.
“I’ve gotten a lot of requests to see if there are other apps that have similar vulnerabilities in some way,” he says. “I’ll probably download and give them a shot, and so we’ll see.”
[Note: Read the update to this story about C*ckBlocked.]
These are challenging times for news organizations. And yet it’s crucial we stay active and provide vital resources and information to both our local readers and the world. So won’t you please take a moment and consider supporting Metro Weekly with a membership? For as little as $5 a month, you can help ensure Metro Weekly magazine and MetroWeekly.com remain free, viable resources as we provide the best, most diverse, culturally-resonant LGBTQ coverage in both the D.C. region and around the world. Memberships come with exclusive perks and discounts, your own personal digital delivery of each week’s magazine (and an archive), access to our Member's Lounge when it launches this fall, and exclusive members-only items like Metro Weekly Membership Mugs and Tote Bags! Check out all our membership levels here and please join us today!