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Tinder launches safety feature to warn LGBTQ users when they are in countries with discriminatory laws

Tinder wants to protect its LGBTQ users if they venture into any of the nearly 70 countries around the world where they could face criminal penalties. A new alert aims to warn users of the dating app when they enter regions with discriminatory laws. 

Tinder launched a "Traveler Alert" feature Wednesday that will appear when the app is opened in a country that has laws effectively criminalizing LGBTQ activity.

"Based on your geographical location, it appears you're in a place where the LGBTQ community may be penalized," the alert reads. "We want you to have fun, but your safety is our #1 priority. Please proceed with caution and take extra care when making new matches and meeting with people you do not know." 

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Tinder

Once users receive the alert, they have the option to hide their profile in that location or continue using the app. Even if a user does decide to keep using the app, their sexual orientation and gender identity will be hidden until they leave that region. 

The alert will show up both when users are traveling in potentially dangerous regions or when using "Tinder Passport," which allows users to match with people anywhere in the world. The goal is to protect users from both law enforcement agencies and individuals who may target them in these countries. 

"We fundamentally believe that everyone should be able to love who they want to love — and we strive to reflect this in everything we do at Tinder," CEO Elie Seidman said in a press release. "We serve all communities — no matter their gender identity or sexual orientation — and we are proud to offer features that help keep them safe. This alert is an example of the many steps that we are taking to protect our users around the world."

Tinder sourced data from the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) to determine where the feature will alert users. Resources are available to users within the app if they want to learn more about ILGA World's research. 

"We hope that this development will raise awareness amongst all Tinder users, and help protect people of diverse sexual orientations in the 69 countries around the world that currently still criminalize same-sex love," ILGA World Executive Director André du Plessis said.

Despite growing acceptance in some parts of the world, members of the LGBTQ community are still at risk in many regions. While potential punishments vary, nine countries allow prosecutors to seek the death penalty for LGBTQ relationships

The new feature will roll out for both iOS and Android users in the coming days. 

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