Transgender Tinder users say they are being inexplicably banned from the dating app.
Well, actually, there is one pretty obvious explanation: Trans folks who've discovered that their accounts are “under review” believe they are being flagged simply because they are trans. And Tinder isn’t doing much to help them out.
According to Business Insider's Madison Malone Kircher, Tinder’s policy stipulates that a profile must be reported a certain number of times (it doesn’t disclose the precise number) before it is placed under review/banned. If Tinder recognizes that the "offending" profile hasn’t actually committed any violations, the dating app will restore it. It's basically a "guilty-until-proven-innocent strategy," says Kircher.
Of course, retroactively lifting a ban that was placed due to discrimination isn’t exactly encouraging. But the Tinder model itself is problematic when it comes to the treatment of trans folks and other sexual minorities. In a statement to Business Insider, a Tinder spokesperson said:
"The system currently does not permit users to be more specific than 'male' or 'female' when selecting gender and is similarly limited in discovery preferences. Unfortunately, this can lead to some users reporting other users when they unexpectedly appear in their recommendations. Tinder recognizes and believes in the importance of being inclusive of all gender identities and is working towards optimizing the experience for everyone. "
Oh, well, at least they’re working on it?
As Kircher points out, it's strange that Tinder, which pulls profile information from Facebook, only incorporates two of the 58 gender options Facebook has to offer. Clearly this discrepancy is a problem.
When asked to comment, Tinder sent Fusion the same statement that appeared in Business Insider.