Though homosexuality isn’t outlawed in Egypt, authorities often lean on colonial-era codes regulating sex and morality to justify violence against LGBTQ communities and to prosecute queer people.Upon arriving for a rendezvous arranged through the app, some users instead found authorities waiting for them, ready to use the meeting and chat logs as evidence of illegal debauchery, immorality, promoting homosexuality, or other alleged offenses.To try to protect themselves, users often turn to software that only partially addresses privacy and security issues.
Chechen authorities used gay dating apps as evidence for arrest during a terrifying homophobic purge in 2017.
This was not the first time authorities or vigilantes have used gay dating apps to persecute their users.
In 2014, at least three websites outed gay dating–app users in Jordan by posting their profile information, sometimes including their location.
The app creators, too, bear responsibility for protecting their valuable users.
Yet too often, intentionally or not, these developers design their platforms in ways that place the burden of digital safety and privacy on users.