How dating apps promote sexual racism
Dating and hook-up service Grindr has announced its intention to remove the “ethnicity filter” from its popular app. The controversial function allowed paying users to filter out prospective partners based on ethnicity labels such as “Asian”, “Black” and “Latino”. Long criticised as racist, the filter also helped to create a culture where users were emboldened to express their racism.
Eddie Kim wasn’t prepared for the radio silence he faced as an Asian guy on Tinder. He had a “creeping sensation that it’s not just my bio.
The change comes amid an international focus on black lives, on the same day a Reuters investigation also raises new questions over Chinese links in the latest sale of the app. Critics have been highlighting the hypocrisy of the app’s response to Black Lives Matters protest, as the firm was one of many businesses to change profile pictures and social media banners in solidarity.
Currently, when browsing the local area for hook-ups and dating, you can filter people based on their ethnicity, as well as age, height and even weight. We listened and we will continue to fight racism on Grindr, both through dialogue with our community and a zero-tolerance policy for hate speech on our platform. But many critics have been focusing on the platforms previous lacklustre attempts to curb the plight of prejudice on its app.
In that respect, I’m glad they’ve removed it. And not the result of discriminatory social conditioning that idealises eurocentric beauty. It’s also part of a complex mix, that means this might not even be the right move as the filter was a way of some people of colour navigating the platform, Leon says:. It has taken away their opportunity to connect with other men of colour on the app, in an interaction in which they’re much less likely to experience racism.
How Tinder Accidentally Exposed Society’s Inherent Racism
Three or four years ago, Fallon Gregory downloaded Tinder and matched with someone who was very complimentary — at first. While she was chatting with her match, she became a bit uneasy about how much he kept commenting on her appearance. It was the first time Ms Gregory remembers being racially discriminated against on a dating app. The second he found out about my heritage, he was gone. What Ms Gregory experienced was an example of sexual racism: a sexual or romantic bias against people based on their race, usually directed at people of colour.
Like many other Indigenous Australians, she’s also experienced racist abuse on dating apps, too.
Indigenous users of dating apps say they’re deemed less attractive and abused by other users because of their race.
Tinder has been around for about seven years now. I missed the initial scramble to join it. For most of my early 20s, I was in a long-term relationship and blissfully unaware of the catfishing, ghosting and bread-crumbing that my generation was slowly accepting as standard dating behaviour. At age 28, three innocent years ago, I found myself single for the first time as a proper adult and picking flattering pictures of myself for a Tinder profile. Right away, I was struck by the sheer variety of people out there.
Confined to our peer groups and professional networks, we tend to meet people who are socio-politically, economically and culturally similar to us. The apps broaden our horizons — where else would I meet an Australian theoretical physicist? Or a Swedish powerlifter? Or a Texan futsal coach?
Dating app “preferences” encourage racism and discrimination
LONDON Thomson Reuters Foundation – Gay dating apps are scrambling to remove ethnicity filters in a bid to tackle racism, as violent protests over the killing of a black man in police custody rocked the United States for a second week. Using the hashtag BlackLivesMatter, Grindr, which allows its more than 4 million daily users to choose between five options, including black, Asian and Middle Eastern, said on Monday that it would remove the filters from its next release.
His death caused outrage across a nation that is politically and racially divided as it counts down to presidential elections in November, reigniting protests that have flared repeatedly in recent years over police killings of black Americans. Dating apps have long been plagued by accusations of sexual racism, as users have been allowed to choose which race they want to meet. Jevan Hutson, one of the authors of the Cornell study, said online dating sites and apps should be designed in ways that do not fuel such racist comments or prejudice.
Hinge and OkCupid, both of which have ethnicity filters, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Out of the hundreds of conversations I’ve had on the app, about half of them have involved a man tokenizing me for my ethnicity.
But Russell doesn’t believe he’s being racist. I dated a black woman once,” Russell told the Washington Post. The “groups” Russell is referring to are the primary audiences for dating websites like Black People Meet or JDate — which allow users to connect with black and Jewish singles respectively. Russell’s views and comments have fueled internet outrage, to the point that what he’s doing feels a bit like performance art; he may even be saying stereotypically racist things to incite anger and draw more attention to his site.
The reason people are talking about the dating site is that there doesn’t seem to be a need for it. White people still represent the majority of Americans, and in the dating world, there are benefits to being white. OkCupid, one of the largest dating websites in the US, compiles data on its “matches” between its members. In , OkCupid found that white men get the most responses from potential mates.
Tinder revolutionized the dating world when it was launched five years ago. But, in drastically streamlining the attraction process, and entirely by accident, Tinder became the skeleton key to unlocking data on racism in America. Black women and Asian men make up two demographics that have been long stigmatized as not-ideal sexual and romantic partners.
Every time I find myself in a new place, the question of “How am I going to date? When I first got to college , my roommates and other peers had already activated their Tinder and Bumble accounts. The same happened when I started my semester abroad in Spain. Dating apps are an incredibly useful way to meet people, and they provide a safety net that you don’t get in the real world where you have to physically approach someone instead of sending a message or swiping right.
But despite being behind your computer or device, dating apps are, as shows like Love Is Blind have pointed out, visual. And sometimes when all people can see is what you look like , true prejudice reveals itself. I personally have never enjoyed my experiences on dating apps. I’ve used Tinder and Bumble, but have only ever interacted with men on Tinder. It was fun at first until one guy told me he had never been with a dark-skinned girl before, and he wanted me to be his first.
I stopped dating ‘coconuts’ and faced my own internalised racism
KIM February 14, I am not your Korean fetish. A not-so-subtle finger to the patriarchy. For the week or two that I fiddled with Tinder, my race was a greater source of anxiety than ever. Wherever we go, minorities deal with sexual racism. Part of this has to do with a culture of superficiality on dating apps.
How Tinder Accidentally Exposed Society’s Inherent Racism. The five-year-old dating app shed light on an uncomfortable set of stereotypes.
By Ian Zelaya. Like many brands, dating apps have posted social media statements and pledged donations in support of BlackLivesMatter since global protests began last week in response to the killings of unarmed Black people in America, including George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25; Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Ky. A five-year study OkCupid released in found that Black people and Asian men fared the worst in terms of racial and gender preference among 25 million users.
And certain apps have functions that enable users to filter ethnicity, which naturally could encourage discrimination. We will not be silent. Black Lives Matter.
‘Why is it OK to ban certain races on your dating profile?’
But a new study suggests the apps themselves might reinforce those prejudices. To conduct the study, the researchers downloaded the 25 top-grossing apps in the iOS app store as of fall , including Tinder, OKCupid, Hinge, Grindr and some lesser-known apps like Meetville and Coffee Meets Bagel. Do they get pictures or bios? Can you sort matches according to different categories? When apps encourage users to act on quick impressions and filter other people out, serendipity is lost, the researchers say.
“You’re good looking for a black guy.” Three gay black men in the UK share their experiences of encountering racism in the online dating world.
She had swiped through a lot of men in her three years of using the app. But when she walked into a south London pub for their first date, she was surprised at how genuinely nice he was. She never imagined that four years on they would be engaged and planning their wedding during a pandemic. Aditi, from Newcastle, is of Indian heritage and Alex is white. Their story is not that common, because dating apps use ethnicity filters, and people often make racial judgements on who they date.
However, the year-old remembers one occasion when a man opened the conversation by telling her how much he liked Indian girls and how much he disliked Sri Lankan and Bangladeshi girls. Earlier this month, in light of the death of George Floyd, many corporations and brands, dating apps among them, pledged their support for BlackLivesMatter.