A teenager has filed a lawsuit against Grindr, alleging that the popular dating app facilitated his rape by an older man. The lawsuit, filed in Canada, claims that Grindr failed to adequately screen users, particularly those who identified as minors, and did not take sufficient measures to prevent sexual assault.
The plaintiff, who is now 17 years old, says that he was 15 when he began using Grindr to meet other gay men. He alleges that he was eventually contacted by an older man who claimed to be 24 years old and who arranged to meet him at his home. The plaintiff claims that when the man arrived, he drugged and sexually assaulted him.
The lawsuit alleges that Grindr should have known that minors were using the app and that it did not have adequate safeguards in place to prevent them from being victimized. The plaintiff is seeking $10 million in damages.
In a statement, a spokesperson for Grindr said that the company is “committed to creating a safe and secure environment to help our community connect and thrive, and any allegations of misconduct are taken seriously and investigated thoroughly.”
The spokesperson also said that Grindr has implemented several safety features in recent years, including a requirement that users verify their identity and a feature that allows users to blur their photos until they have confirmed that they are speaking to a trusted match.
The lawsuit comes amid increased scrutiny of Grindr and other dating apps over concerns about their safety, particularly for minors. Last year, the US government ordered Grindr’s Chinese parent company to divest from the app over concerns that it posed a national security risk.