Another sterling example of why some people just shouldn’t be allowed social media.
In a year where we’ve been able to celebrate a record number of out athletes competing in the Olympics, some people seem to have forgotten that it is a global event and that the privileges afforded to some countries are not universally offered around the world.
The environment for LGBTQ+ people globally is still, in many places, hostile, dangerous, or punishable by law.
Presumably either a) thinking they’re hilarious, or b) making a dumb attempt to grow their followers with complete disregard for other people and their privacy or safety (or both), 2021 has once again proved that some people just can’t manage a social media account responsibly.
Social media users on TikTok and Twitter have been using Grindr to find athletes in Tokyo’s Olympic Village, by searching profiles on the hook-up app using its explore feature, then attempting to expose them.
In posts unearthed by Insider (posts they have rightly chosen not to share and neither will we), users have then been sharing videos and screen shots of profiles – some of which include faces – to their own social media. Some of which are of athletes who are not publicly out and include at least one athlete from a country where same-sex sexual relations are a crime.
To reiterate, whilst there’s been a lot of coverage this year, possibly from the country you might be in, about how progressive things have become in the sporting world and that is great… there are several countries represented at the Olympic Games where homosexuality is illegal. Along with many more where it is still highly stigmatized and therefore potentially dangerous.
Many countries have laws that prescribe harsh punishments – sometimes including death – to anyone convicted of homosexual activity.
Insider further reports that at least four athletes have been fully identified by face and name in the posts.
One video on TikTok went viral with over 140,000 views, allowing it to be featured onto users’ For You Pages, with the poster jovially saying “I used Grindr’s explore feature to find myself and Olympian boyfriend”. TikTok removed it for violating community guidelines, but these actions take time and the video had already gone viral.
A spokesperson for Twitter quoted by Insider said the posts “violated the Twitter Rules against hateful conduct and will need to be removed before the account owners can continue to use Twitter.”
A spokesperson for Grindr also said that the users who posted the videos “are in breach of Grindr’s Terms and Conditions of Service which prohibit them from publicly displaying, publishing, or otherwise distributing any content or information that are part of the Grindr services. Out of respect for our users’ privacy, and out of respect for the contractual commitments these individuals made, Grindr demands that these individuals remove their social media posts that include images from the Grindr platform.”
Aside from the fact that outing anyone, anywhere is just completely unacceptable, doing it for plaudits or clout on social media is dangerously ignorant and carries a huge impact to those individuals and their families.
So, to anyone thinking of doing anything like that, be a bit wiser. And don’t be a dick.