Applications and traps: online dating apps need to do most to protect LGBTQ communities in Middle East and North Africa

Applications and traps: online dating apps need to do most to protect LGBTQ communities in Middle East and North Africa

Any time youa€™re reading this, youra€™ve probably attempted a dating app or learn people who have. Relationships software posses certainly revolutionised how we date, hook-up as well as get a hold of fancy. But, sadly ita€™s not always fun, games and aubergine emojis. While these software became therefore commonly used, also they are becoming misused and weaponised against forums in high-risk contexts. This is especially the situation with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Queer (LGBTQ) forums using the internet in the Middle East and North Africa.

We at ARTICLE 19 have now been examining just how prominent dating programs are increasingly being used by LGBTQ folks in Egypt, Lebanon and Iran. While the contexts within these countries differ tremendously, we’ve got learned that LGBTQ forums throughout three rely on programs to speak, meet- or hook-up and fall-in love. But worryingly, wea€™ve found that state bodies and homophobic non-state stars are also making use of these apps observe, entrap, threaten and prosecute LGBTQ forums.

But we performedna€™t hold on there. Joining up with Grindr alongside online dating applications used in the location, wea€™ve already been viewing approaches to prevent making use of applications to damage people. We started by notifying software to how their products or services utilized by regulators to surveil and hurt their particular consumers; and suggesting and working together on options of how they should transform items to raised drive back this. Our collaboration having Grindr for Equality alongside LGBTQ internet dating apps shows how human rights groups, activists and income businesses must come together to lessen the impact of repressive crackdowns on LGBTQ communities and mitigate human rights abuses.

Framework a€“ applications and barriers

Since 2009, relationship has-been revolutionised by geolocation-based applications. Continue reading “Applications and traps: online dating apps need to do most to protect LGBTQ communities in Middle East and North Africa”

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