Impersonating Profiles on Grindr

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Impersonating Profiles on Grindr
Short Title Grindr Allows People to Create Fake and Impersonating Profiles
Location Global
Date September 2018

Taxonomy Appropriation, Distortion, Insecurity, Disclosure
Information Identifying, Contact, Location, Sexual, Physical Characteristics
Threat Actors Grindr LLC

Affected Users of Grindr
High Risk Groups LGBTQ
Secondary Consequences Anxiety, Embarrassment, Lost Opportunity, Ostracism

Queer geosocial app Grindr was found to allow people to create fake and impersonating profiles. It can be used against individuals for stalking and harassment.


The ex-boyfriend of one man was able to create impersonating profiles Appropriation on Grindr to arrange sex dates with over a thousand men who came to that man's home and workplace. Disclosure

The impersonating profiles told them that he had drugs to share and wanted to role-play rape fantasies. Distortion

This person reported it to Grindr over 100 times. When a court order demanded Grindr to exclude Matthew’s ex from using their product, they said they didn’t have the technology to do so. This can be interpreted as Insecurity

This case challenged Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which tech companies claim exempts them from being liable for harm that happens on their platforms.

The District Court dismissed of Herrick’s claims. On August 7, 2019, a petition for certiorari with the Supreme Court of the United States was filed.

Another example of a similar privacy violation happened in 2017, when two North Carolina high school students created a fake profile and solicited a nude photo from their teacher, and then distributed the picture throughout the school.Disclosure

The teacher was at first suspended and then transferred.

Risk Statistics

Laws and Regulations

Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act