There are numerous reports out of Lebanon that people are banned from accessing Grindr on the country’s public network.
Beirut Pride first reported the news in a Facebook post.
‘For some people, the application doesn’t log in,’ they explained. ‘For others, profiles and conversations do not load, unless accessed from a private wifi network.’
They further describe the alleged ban as a ‘new attack on the freedoms in Lebanon’ by shrinking ‘national cyber access’ based on private relationships and sexuality.
The organization continued, comparing the censorship to putting people back into the closet.
‘It confines people to the private network (home, cafés and work), thus pushing back Grindr, its users, and the representations of sexual orientation and gender identity back in the closet, behind closed doors.’
At the end of the post, Beirut Pride brings up the Stonewall Riots, and writes that ’50 years later, in 2019, our part of the world cannot dismiss its natonal and regional #coming_out’.
In many countries around the world, same-sex activity remains illegal. If it is not explicitly illegal, there exists private policing of such activity.
Grindr responded to this in 2017. It collaborated with the free speec organization Article 19 that year to implement new security measures with the app. These planned measures included users to use a different icon for the app so it would not be immediately noticeable on their phones.
It is unclear if this is still in use or how it effects this apparen censorship.
GSN reached out to Grindr for more information.