Out athletes competing in the Olympic Games have in recent weeks been targeted and outed by TikTok and Twitter users who are exploiting Grindr’s explore feature to hone in on the Tokyo Olympic village.
There are a record number of 142 out LGBTQI+ athletes competing in the Tokyo Olympics, including nine out Australian sportspersons.
According to a report published by Insiders, some of those athletes who are being outed, come from countries where same sex relations are still illegal and punishable offences.
‘Don’t Put People In Jeopardy’
It has been reported that at least 10 tweets and four TikTok posts have revealed the Grindr profiles of Olympic athletes.
“I used Grindr’s explore feature to find myself an Olympian boyfriend,” the post said
In a follow up post, a shirtless young man is heard saying, “Is it me? Am I the drama? I don’t think I’m the drama. Maybe I am? Am I the villain? I don’t think I’m the villain?”
Commenters were quick to put the user in his place, with one commenter posting in response “Don’t put these peeps in jeopardy just to get off on the other side of the world.”
The original poster then responded with “appreciate you bringing this concern to the community’s attention.”
One athlete whose face was exposed has since stated that they are from a country known for anti-LGBTQI policies. The breach of privacy is made more alarming when we consider that among those represented at this year’s Olympics, there are athletes from countries like Yemen, Iran and Saudi Arabia, where homosexuality is still punishable by death.
TikTok, Twitter Pulls Down Posts
First to remove the posts was Twitter, with a spokesperson saying that the tweets “violated the Twitter Rules against hateful conduct and will need to be removed before the account owners can continue to use Twitter.”
Grindr in response to the report published by Insiders, issued a statement condemning the videos saying that the video creators breached the app’s Terms and Conditions, 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.”
This breach of privacy not only endangers Olympic Athletes, but should stand as yet another reminder of the dangers of apps such as Grindr, and forms part of an increasingly worrying trend of incidents link to the platform.
Recently, as reported in the Star Observer, Monsignor Jeffrey Burrill, the general secretary to the U.S Conference of Catholic Bishops resigned after conservative Catholic news site, The Pillar, informed it of data they had acquired revealing that the high-ranking priest was a frequent user of Grindr and visited gay bars. The Pillar claims to have accessed the data legally through a vendor selling anonymized data that Grindr sold in accordance with its terms of service.