Grindr, the most popular dating app for gay men, has today announced it will remove ethnicity filters “to stand in solidarity with” the Black Lives Matter movement.
The filters have long been a subject of contention as they allow users to avoid seeing people of certain ethnicities when scrolling through the homepage.
The popular app also announced it will be making donations to the Marsha P. Johnson Institute and Black Lives Matter, urging followers to do the same.
We will not be silent. Black Lives Matter. https://t.co/K671PrwJc0 pic.twitter.com/93ninYt2u9— Grindr (@Grindr) June 1, 2020
Back in 2018, Grindr launched an anti-racism campaign on the platform after noticing the racism that the filters caused. That same year, Landen Zumwalt, Grindr’s former head of communications, told The Guardian that the company discussed removing the ethnicity filters but wasn’t ready to get rid of them. The team wanted to talk to its users first, he said, and the filters gave people in minority groups a chance to match more easily with one another.
“While I believe the ethnicity filter does promote racist behaviour in the app, other minority groups use the filter because they want to quickly find other members of their minority community,” he said.
According to The Verge, researchers have found that people of colour are rejected more often than white people on dating apps. The filters could allow people to continue to discriminate against people of colour, enabling racist attitudes and discrimination.