War Of The Gay Sex Apps: Jack’d Attacks Grindr For Doing Little To Stop ‘Racist’ Profiles

Gay dating app Jack’d, launched a new video on its social media that accuses its competitor, Grindr, of doing little to stop racism on its platform.

In a press release, Jack’d called out Grindr for allowing member profiles to post messages like “No blacks, no Asians,” a problem Jack’d called “rampant.”

Peter Sloterdyk, Grindr’s vice president of marketing, told the Advocate that “sexual racism is a larger problem within our community and impacts all dating apps, not just Grindr.”

Grindr, he said, does “prohibit the use of offensive or racist language and encourage our community to report offending profiles through our app’s built-in system.” Sloterdyk says a negative report could lead to either censorship of a profile or a ban.

Alon Rivel, director of global marketing at Jack’d, said that his platform has a “zero-tolerance” policy for racism and invites users to report discrimination to customer service.

“There is a difference between being attracted to certain characteristics of a man and spewing hate and/or attacking others for their religion or the color of their skin,” said Rivel.

“Whether we like it or not, [Griindr] is the leader in the gay dating app space and they set a tone for the rest of the gay community,” he added.

“Grindr has been highlighted in the press repeatedly as being racist and only profiling men who fit one standard of beauty,” Rivel told The Advocate. “It is not that we are signaling them out, we are just reiterating what the public is writing and experiencing.”

The Advocate adds:

Sloterdyk defended the dating app by noting the “Grindr for Equality” program, which he says works with LGBT organizations that promote social justice, better health, and other issues. He also praised coverage of sexual racism by Grindr’s new digital magazine, IntoMore.com, which will “create a safe space for all of our users to engage in discourse around issues.”

Some dating apps target particular groups of gay men, like bears, or try to convene other communities. Jack’d has sometimes positioned itself as targeted to people of color. Jack’d is part of the company Online Buddies, which reports it has 22 full-time employees, of which nine are people of color. Among its five-person executive management team, two are people of color. Rivel tells The Advocate that fighting racism, though, is everyone’s job at Jack’d.

“I feel that it is my moral responsibility to bring the gay community closer together regardless of race,” Rivel said. “Being in the gay community has taught me what it feels like to be a minority and outcasted from the general public. Working at Jack’d has given me the platform to bring inclusion to the gay community and remind everyone that we need to come together especially with the current political climate regardless of race. Thus the idea for this video has come about. Let’s come together as a community instead of segregating and excluding each other.”