Grindr launches Kindr initiative, to stop profiles from stating ‘No fats, no fems, no Asians’

Grindr launches Kindr initiative, to stop profiles from stating ‘No fats, no fems, no Asians’

Dating app Grindr has launched its new ‘Kindr’ initiative. The project arrives in response to complaints from some users after experiencing racist, body-shaming or stigmatizing language.

Grindr announced Kindr a few weeks ago, but provided scant details as to what the project would entail.

Yesterday, it released the first of a series of videos in which it addresses the debate around online behaviour. It also unveiled new user community guidelines. These state that profiles face moderation if they list what they disliked based on racial group or gender expression

The first video features app users explaining why stating what you’re not looking for – in relation to racial groups – is problematic.

It starts by stating some blatantly racist language users have heard online (‘Go back to Mexico’, ‘People like you are the reason Ebola exist’), before moving on to the ‘covert racism’ of profile preferences.

One man explains how reading exclusionary messages online feels like walking down a street and seeing shop signs welcoming only one kind of customer.

“Racism is you thinking I’m not going to be smarter than you when you first meet me,” says one black contributor, Rakeem Cunningham. “Or when black people are articulate and other people go, ‘Oh, you’re so well spoken!’ Like, that’s the stuff that bothers me, and that’s the stuff I think needs to be addressed. I think the racism that’s not overt but that’s covert is the main problem.”

An Asian contributor, Joel Kim Booster, says that he began to wonder if there was something wrong with him, or if there was something he should be ashamed about when interacting with guys online. “It opened my eyes to a hierarchy that I wasn’t participating in before. If you don’t put “No Asians” in your profile, that doesn’t mean you have to fuck Asians now. It just means I don’t have to see it.”

“It is not racist to not be attracted to me personally,” he adds. “But for you to say ‘I know what every Asian guy looks like and I know for a fact that I would not be attracted to any of them…’ Like that comes from a racist place because you don’t know what we all look like. That’s ugly.

“We have only so much in our profiles to get across whatever the fuck we want to get across to all the other guys on this app, and you’re going to take space to narrow it by what you don’t want. Just tell me what you do like. If you tell me you like the fucking Jonas Brothers, I know I’m not for you.’

Former Queer Eye alum Jai Rodriguez also takes part. He points out: “You don’t know what the person on the other side of the phone is going through. You have no idea what their experience is or what else they have going on. Or what that comment might do to them.”

Many talk about the impact of language.

“No matter what battle you’re going through, you don’t have to break other people in order to feel good,” says contributor Jasmine Aksornkij. “You don’t have to hurt other people in order to make you feel uplifted.”

The video ends with the campaign’s tagline: ‘It’s time to play nice.’

“Sexual racism, transphobia, fat and femme shaming and further forms of othering such as stigmatization of HIV positive individuals are pervasive problems in the LGBTQ community,” said Landen Zumwalt, head of communications at Grindr, in a press statement.

“These community issues get brought onto our platform, and as a leader in the gay dating space, Grindr has a responsibility to not only protect our users, but also to set the standard for the broader community that we serve.

“Online discrimination has reached epidemic proportions affecting not only Grindr but other social networks. Our ‘Kindr’ initiative is a rallying call for Grindr and our community to take a stand against sexual racism and all forms of othering.

“Together, we will work to maintain a welcoming and inclusive environment and end the need for people to include exclusionary statements on profiles.”

Grindr says it will be rolling out more videos over the next five weeks. It has also updated its community guidelines. In these, it says that moderators will act if they see people making statements such as ‘No Asians’ in their profile descriptions.

“We have a zero-tolerance policy for discrimination, harassment, and abusive behavior. We want you to be yourself, but not at the expense of someone else. Anyone found bullying, threatening, or defaming another user will be banned.

“We will also remove any discriminatory statements displayed on profiles. You’re free to express your preferences, but we’d rather hear about what you’re into, not what you aren’t.

“Profile language that is used to openly discriminate against other users’ traits and characteristics (“No fats, no fems, no Asians”) will no longer be tolerated and will be subject to review by our moderation team.”

Grindr is not the only dating app acting to moderate racist language and stigmatizing behavior. Last week, Chappy launched its own ‘zero tolerance for abuse’ campaign. Scruff also announced earlier this month that it would make its ‘ethnicity’ field optional.

Grindr was launched in 2009 and now claims to have 3.8 million daily active users. It was sold in its entirety to Chinese gaming company Beijing Kunlun Tech last year. Grindr remains headquartered in Hollywood, California, but the company is considering an initial public offering.

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14 Comments

  1. Mandy
    September 19, 17:06 Reply

    It has already started. At the comment place, there’s a prompt there that says: “Say Something Kind…”

    Good going, Grindr.

    Now, can we have the initiative that sniffs out the kitos flooding the app.

  2. J
    September 19, 20:32 Reply

    And gay people should be be encouraged to keep meaningful relationships not sleeping around with every Tom, Dick and Harry. 3.8 million active users? Oh wow 🚶

    • Pink Panther
      September 20, 06:01 Reply

      Do you see anyone policing straight people’s decision to either sleep around or have relationships? 😒😒

      • J
        September 20, 14:20 Reply

        Yes, in my hometown straight people are encouraged to be stable and focused. There is too much hate for gay people already and the whoring lifestyle isn’t helping matters. Heterosexuals are equating homosexuality to only and only anal sex, no affection whatsover… No one needs to prove anything, but some of us want to marry the same-sex and have a happy family. Pinky I don’t know what you’ve been through in your life, but you can do better. I hope you use this platform to touch gay lives positively and meaningfully. I feel hurt when you make random hookups feel okay, as if it’s the norm with every gay person in the country. Your posts are mostly accompanied by half naked men, sexually provocative pictures and all, you can do better. With this blog you’re supposed to be having suitors, receiving gifts and endorsement… But I doubt if you’re getting any of it. It might not be your sole aim of starting this blog, but you can do better. I want to be hearing stories of how people meet through your blog, not just to shag, but to settle down. Stories of gay people getting mentored, helped and uplifted. Let’s not make random hookups look normal, let’s help others to be disciplined and committed. We all need companionship in our lives no matter how selfish, stubborn and stone-hearted we are. No one is born to be a whore, there’s more to life than hurting ourselves and other people.

        • Pink Panther
          September 20, 17:19 Reply

          😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂

          I honestly do not know where to begin with this comment. Oh. My. God. This legit cracked me up. WOW!

        • Keredim
          September 20, 17:22 Reply

          Mr J, are you in a meaningful and stable GAY relationship yourself?
          If so, it would be nice if you could give us, the lesser mortals, pointers on how reach this higher plain.
          😊

          • Pink Panther
            September 20, 19:42 Reply

            *settling down with a notepad*

            Maybe I’ll learn something that I’ll pass along to the gay community, seeing as I’ve failed them so badly this far.

            • J
              September 20, 21:26 Reply

              You’ve not failed… You’re doing a great job and you can do more.

              Here’s a link to a book on understanding partners and keeping a good relationship. Send me a message so I can send it to you if this doesn’t work. I hope you can share it with everyone that’s willing to read it. Gay people can apply to their lives too, it’s a good one.
              https://drive.google.com/file/d/16ppK2I1-Tfsqq-A01v9sHje8ma0gtyWN/view?usp=drivesdk

            • Pink Panther
              September 21, 04:20 Reply

              Apparently sarcasm is an art that not everybody understands.

          • J
            September 20, 21:42 Reply

            Keredim, I am not in a stable GAY relationship now… But I am working towards it. I am still hopeful and I believe I meet my partner soon.

        • Francis
          September 24, 08:57 Reply

          Oga J, you are welcome to KD in the name of the Lord. Stick around, you go evolve soon by God’s grace. 😂😂

          • J
            September 24, 17:23 Reply

            😂😂😂 Francis I don’t want that kind of evolution. I’m a practical and determined person, I can’t be diluted. I guess most of the guys on here have been traumatized and taken advantage of, that’s why they’ve given up. I’ve been disappointed and used countlessly, I’ve learned from my pass mistakes and I am still hoping for the best. No one will make me to live a loose life, I’d rather be a Monk.

  3. Sleek Creamy
    September 19, 21:37 Reply

    @ mandy…. Menh that kito thing henn, can grindr find a way around it? Mind you ,anybody wey dey come to the platform with such intention no go write am for face say he want come kito him grand mother head. Just imagine somebody you meet online, collects your number and start calling u every seconds, minutes and everyday telling you how sweet u sound and how golden u are, for over three months, meanwhile the beast get plan B to kito u, but because of all the sweet words from those countless calls, your kito alert sense has been shut down..
    What will you do?
    I feel we all should always take preventive measures , no matter how sweet the person present himself to be….
    Those beasts are on the increase everyday and they come in different shades.
    Thanks to Grindr…

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