Grindr disables explore feature at 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Village in Bejing to prevent LGBT+ athletes being outed


The popular hook-up app has made some changes to its privacy settings at the Olympic Village to protect athletes from harassment or being outed. 


Grindr has effectively shut down its explore settings – the feature that allows Grindr users to view profiles from all around the world – around the Olympic Village in Beijing in an effort to protect some of the worlds top athletes’ privacy.


In July 2021, during the Tokyo Olympics, social media users on TikTok and Twitter developed a dangerous trend of using Grindr to find athletes in Tokyo’s Olympic Village by searching profiles on the app using the feature, then attempting to expose them. 


So it would seem that, thankfully, the app developers aren’t taking any chances this time – and that’s absolutely the right move. 


People in or near the Olympic Village will still be able to use Grindr to search and meet each other during the games and will see a pop-up telling them people outside the village can’t browse the area, but in a change from previous Olympics, their profiles won’t be visible worldwide, reports Bloomberg


Disabling the explore feature in certain areas is something Grindr currently implements in countries with anti-LGBTQ+ laws, but for the first time the app will be applying the updated settings rule to the Olympics. 


Winter Olympics, Beijing 2022


Jack Harrison-Quintana, director of Grindr for Equality, said in a statement: “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” 


Although China decriminalized homosexuality in 1997, there is still considered to be scares protection for people who identify as queer and LGBT+ content is frequently banned or censored. 


In January, the app was seemingly removed from Apple’s app store and Android in China, AFP reported, just days after Chinese officials announced a crackdown on what they deemed to be inappropriate online content. This included pornography and other “ill-natured” activities.


Although similar apps like Blued are still available, concerns grew that the app may have been removed as part of the crackdown.


There are at least 35 openly LGBTQ+ participants in this years games, a record breaking amount for the Winter Olympics.