Metro Weekly

Grindr slams TikTok users who outed Olympic athletes using ‘Explore’ feature

Multiple videos on TikTok and Twitter showed people using Explore on Grindr to identify and expose athletes

grindr, olympics, out, explore
Photo: Alex Suprun / Unsplash

Grindr has condemned TikTok and Twitter users who took advantage of the gay dating app’s “Explore” feature to out Olympic athletes competing at the Tokyo games.

Insider identified a number of videos on TikTok and Twitter featuring people activating Grindr’s Explore option — which allows them to view profiles across the globe — in order to see which users were active in Tokyo’s Olympic Village.

“I used Grindr’s explore feature to find myself and Olympian boyfriend,” said one video, which made its way to TikTok’s main For You Page.

The user proceeded to scroll through a number of profiles in the Olympic Village, with multiple faces shown and identifying information exposed.

At least one profile shown on TikTok featured an athlete from a country with anti-LGBTQ laws, Insider noted, raising serious privacy concerns and potentially putting the athlete in danger.

In total, Insider identified at least four such “Explore” videos on TikTok and at least ten tweets showing profiles in the Olympic Village.

Grindr slammed the use of its Explore feature to potentially out athletes, telling Insider that those sharing the profiles “are in breach of Grindr’s Terms and Conditions of Service which prohibit them from publicly displaying, publishing, or otherwise distributing any content or information that are part of the Grindr services.”

“Out of respect for our users’ privacy, and out of respect for the contractual commitments these individuals made, Grindr demands that these individuals remove their social media posts that include images from the Grindr platform,” a Grindr spokesperson said.

A Twitter spokesperson said that the tweets identified by Insider “violated the Twitter Rules against hateful conduct and will need to be removed before the account owners can continue to use Twitter.”

A record number of out LGBTQ athletes are competing — and winning medals — at the 2021 Olympic Games, with over 160 present in Tokyo.

Analysis by OutSports has found that if the LGBTQ athletes were their own country, they would rank 11th in the world in terms of medals won.


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