Dating apps face questions over age checks after report exposes child abuse

Blaming dating apps for the rise of STDs is just the latest form of sex panic

“Are dating apps to blame for the rise in STDs?”

It’s a line that seems tailor-made for morning news shows, designed to be read in that formal, faux-inquisitive tone newscasters use before cutting to commercial break.

It’s true that STD rates have risen in the U.S. over the last 10 years, with an especially steep rise in the last four years. Alongside straight coverage of this rise, reports drawing the line between STDs and dating apps have also proliferated on local news, digital outlets, and cable networks around the country. 

And like all sound bites, the way these pieces are framed doesn’t reflect the whole story — they just capitalize on the easiest part of it. Read more…

More about Science, Tinder, Dating Apps, Science And Technology, and Grindr

As Chinese censorship intensifies, gays are back while teenage mothers and tattoos are out

Grindr hit with privacy complaint in Europe over sharing user data

Grindr is sending all kinds of user data to third-party companies, including HIV status

Grindr has a communication problem. 

The social networking app used by 3.6 million people has been doing more than simply facilitating hookups, and in the process has potentially put the privacy of its users at risk. 

According a report from BuzzFeed News, the company is sharing user data with two other companies — data that includes email addresses, GPS data, phone IDs, and HIV statuses. Taken as a whole, this information could be used to determine the HIV status of individuals by name. 

After all, how many of you use some form of your real name as your email address? This, paired with your phone ID and GPS location, is likely more than enough to peg data to a specific person. What’s more, even if Grindr doesn’t have specific health data on you, this information might be enough to identify you as a user of a queer-focused app.  Read more…

More about Privacy, Hiv, Grindr, Tech, and Health

Here are the best gay dating apps, since meeting people IRL is hell

Dating. Whether you hate it a little or hate it a lot, it’s a rite of passage for most of us.

It’s also particularly challenging for members of the LGBTQ community, who’ve traditionally only had access to hetero-based sites and apps. When I was on the apps in the late aughts, queer women could barely be found. I met so many cis straight men who checked the “women seeking women” box so they could match with queer women who, they fantasized, would magically change their sexual orientation just for them. (Nope.) 

Some of that hasn’t changed. But as the number of out LGBTQ people has grown, so too have their opportunities in online dating spaces. Queer-friendly dating apps and sites are multiplying, and there are even a few that are — wait for it — pretty damn good. Read more…

More about Lgbtq, Tinder, Dating Apps, Sex And Relationships, and Grindr