Gay dating app Grindr had made it safer for Olympic athletes to cruise for hookups during the 2022 Games in Beijing. This follows an infamous 2016 Daily Beast article where a straight journalist created a fake profile on the app and shared identifying characteristics about athletes looking for sex in Rio, effectively outing users from countries where being LGBTQ+ could be dangerous or illegal.
In the years since, some Grindr users have used the Explore feature to look at profiles in the Olympic Villages and posted them on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and more social media platforms without the athlete's consent.
The trend has caused ethical concerns and incited calls for Grindr to update their privacy policies. Now, Bloomberg reports that folks outside of the area can no longer use the explore page to look at the profiles in the Village, and users in the village are receiving prompts letting them know that "people outside your area can't browse here." If you are in the village, you can still see the people nearest you. “We want Grindr to be a space where all queer athletes, regardless of where they’re from, feel confident connecting with one another while they’re in the Olympic Village,” said Jack Harrison-Quintan, Grindr's Equality Head.
While this is the first time the company has done this for an Olympic game ceremony, Grindr has disabled the "Explore" function in specific areas, countries, and regions where being gay is considered dangerous or illegal.