Dating apps can be great for mingling while you’re traveling, but they can also be a major security risk. That’s why Tinder is rolling out a new “Traveler Alert” feature that was developed in collaboration with the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Intersex Association (ILGA) to protect LGBTQ users in nations and regions that criminalize same-sex acts.
International travelers are subject to the laws of the country they’re visiting, even if the laws are intolerant and regressive. The sad reality is that many governments are openly oppressive—often to the point of violence—toward the LGBTQ community. Though Tinder’s Traveler Alert is an annoying form of self-censorship, it’s designed to help users stay safe.
How Tinder’s Traveler Alert works
If Tinder recognizes an LGBTQ user is located in one of 69 countries that persecute same-sex acts, or if a user is trying the Tinder Passport feature to match with people located in one of those countries, Tinder alerts them of the potential safety risk and give the user the option to temporarily hide their profile.
If you still choose to display your profile publicly, Tinder will automatically hide your gender and sexual orientation on your profile. Once you physically leave the country, your full profile information will become public once again.
Tinder has also updated its dating safety tips with additional privacy suggestions and more information on Traveler Alert. As the company describes:
“It’s important to exercise extra caution if you choose to connect with new people in these countries – as some law enforcement have been known to use dating apps as tools for potential entrapment. Some countries have also recently introduced laws that criminalize communications between individuals on same-sex dating applications or websites and even aggravate penalties if that communication leads to sexual encounters.
Visit ILGA World to see the latest sexual orientation laws by country, and consider donating to support their research.”