New community guidelines and anti-discrimination policies set the bar for a more inclusive and respectful community online and offline
Grindr, the world’s largest queer mobile social network, today kicked off its “Kindr” initiative, which aims to foster a more inclusive and welcoming environment on Grindr and elsewhere within the queer community. The campaign is built around a combination of new community guidelines, stricter enforcement policies and awareness-raising videos that highlight user experiences of discrimination in-app.
“Sexual racism, transphobia, fat and femme shaming and further forms of othering such as stigmatization of HIV positive individuals are pervasive problems in the LGBTQ community,” said Landen Zumwalt, head of communications at Grindr. “These community issues get brought onto our platform, and as a leader in the gay dating space, Grindr has a responsibility to not only protect our users, but also to set the standard for the broader community that we serve.”
“Grindr has a new suite of queer leadership – myself included – who share this same mission to take much-needed action, make impactful changes in the app and use Grindr’s enormous power to do good for greater LGBTQ community,” continued Zumwalt.
“Like many of us, I was a user of Grindr before I started working here, so I was already familiar with the racism and issues faced by people of color or non-masculine identifying people on the app,” said Zach Stafford, chief content officer at Grindr and editor-in-chief of INTO. “I joined Grindr because I saw an opportunity for the company to be a leader and social change agent.”
“Online discrimination has reached epidemic proportions affecting not only Grindr but other social networks. Our ‘Kindr’ initiative is a rallying call for Grindr and our community to take a stand against sexual racism and all forms of othering. Together, we will work to maintain a welcoming and inclusive environment and end the need for people to include exclusionary statements on profiles,” said Zumwalt.
Josh Rivers, Head of Communications at UK Black Pride, commented, “UK Black Pride welcomes and supports Grindr’s significant and bold new initiative to tackle racism, discrimination and prejudice, and its drive to foster an inclusive environment on its global and important platform. Our movement depends on those in positions of power, those who can influence, doing what they must to ensure racism, sexism, misogyn(oir), transphobia and all forms of bullying are eradicated and we are impressed with the work spearheaded by Zach Stafford and his team.
“But this is not Grindr’s responsibility alone. While we are encouraged that Grindr is taking this step, we — as a community — must continue to fight for those most marginalised, create safe spaces for us and by us, and lead by example. Grindr’s new initiative means we now have one more tool in our battle, and one more much-needed safe space. We look forward to seeing the campaign unfold and experiencing a kinder Grindr for ourselves.”
Kindr is built around education, awareness and specific policy changes in the Grindr app. Its new community guidelines will serve as the first step of many Grindr will be taking to help foster a more inclusive and respectful community on its platform. As part of the video campaign, Grindr partnered with notable queer leaders and activists, including The Vixen and Jai Rodriguez, in addition to a number of every day users to share their experiences with discrimination and speak to ways to engage in respectful conversations online.
Over the next five weeks, Grindr will roll out five videos on Grindr, social media, media buys, and Kindr.Grindr.com, a new landing page for the campaign.