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Queerty: A post about Grindr blocking all screenshots has sent Gay Twitter™ into a frenzy


Picture of an iPhone with the yellow Grindr logo.Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Grindr screenshots are a ubiquitous part of Gay Twitter™. They can be inserted into pretty much any online convo, usually along with a meme or an emoji.

But could the controversial practice be a part of Gay Twitter’s™ past, just like private Twitter “Circles?”

One Twitter user sounded the alarm Friday, posting an apparent screenshot from a Grindr chat with the text blocked out.

In the replies, they understandably wondered what gay men would possibly tweet about without the safety net of a Grindr screen grab.

what are u gay ppl going to tweet about now?!!

— nova gina (@FREAKYPRlNCESS) April 7, 2023

Five days later, the tweet is still going viral, with thousands of people weighing in on the ethics of using Grindr as a comedic playground. (OK, OK, there are mostly jokes… with screenshots, of course.)

every dating app should do this to stop clout chasing weirdos from randomly dragging people on the internet https://t.co/E8jlWOhSIr

— Ben Miller (@benwritesthings) April 11, 2023

that’s fine because none of them are gonna top this tbh https://t.co/GrfRljBCEG pic.twitter.com/KN0ORnh4Ev

— zanaxeverse tweets (@letsgotothemaul) April 11, 2023

no more of this 🥲 pic.twitter.com/xtMc2hAgpI

— cas 🏳️‍⚧️ (the fall out boy) (@casscois) April 11, 2023

Thank you @Grindr for saving these messy twinks from embarrassing themselves

— A (@zenn0z) April 10, 2023

literally the only funny grindr screenshot ever… the rest good luck at your mid-offs https://t.co/xdJRAPOkiE pic.twitter.com/36OxlzylQu

— // / ✝ / (@tohavenotohoId) April 11, 2023

80% of twitter gays are about to lose their online personalities. pic.twitter.com/7FVS608jIL https://t.co/SA7rjxcmow

— Special Little Guy (@Miguelshmiguel) April 11, 2023

Thank you Jesus. Sick of y’all.

— rawcienaga boulevardez (@Kollinbenson_) April 11, 2023

This is the death of comedy

— Xoe (@astroexgirlfrnd) April 8, 2023

Society in ten years now that the gays can’t screenshot Grindr chats anymore https://t.co/a2B3QK0YJO pic.twitter.com/7zfvVkNPsu

— Saint Q (@SaintQ92) April 11, 2023

the other good part about this (other than weeding out people who post ss clout) is that it makes it harder to share non consensual nudes to the bad sites ? https://t.co/iCdPQ4IlsD

— alex (@alex_abads) April 12, 2023

While all of that discourse is great, it doesn’t answer the central question: Did Grindr actually ban screenshots???

Queerty reached out to the dating app on Wednesday, and the answer is no. “We don’t have carte blanche, no app does,” said Patrick Linehan, Grindr’s VP of comms. “Apple and Google have their own policies.”

Grindr doesn’t have autonomy to block screenshots across the app on its own, but the company is in weekly communication with Apple about a variety of security issues, says Linehan.

But there is some gray area, at least in regards to the aforementioned tweet. Grindr blocks screenshots on its “Albums” feature, and there are different privacy policies in different countries, especially those hostile to LGBTQ+ people.

Queerty also reached out to the author of the viral tweet to confirm the screenshot’s veracity. They said it’s legit, but is starting to think it was some sort of glitch. “I know they don’t allow you to screenshot on Grindr in other countries. And I think it had something to do with my nearby page showing me nothing but people 5000 miles away lol,” said “@FREAKYPRINCESS.”

There are two sides to the Grindr screenshot discourse. Some say it’s exploitative, while others point to safety reasons for the feature. Unfortunately, there is widespread abuse on the app, and screenshots are often the best way to document awful and hateful behavior (for example: the rapper Le1f shared disgustingly racist screenshots he received a few years ago).

I’m with this providing there was a way for people to document abusive/harassing messages during a report in case the person escalates elsewhere.

— John ???? (@TheJWQ) March 17, 2022

Given the racist shit I deal with which I show my friends to prove to them that I’m not going mad, yeah I’ll be screenshotting still https://t.co/WRiX0iZqKl

— Dr Craig Poku (@pokubakes) March 18, 2022

People should be able to keep evidence of abuse. Unfortunately, Grindr probably has a good amount of that.

— Miles (@mijowico) March 17, 2022

Interestingly enough, a Grindr screenshot went viral over the weekend, and actually for a positive reason! An older man reached out to a younger guy, and passed along some important wisdom.

i am not crying from a grindr message pic.twitter.com/eAjbauCDHZ

— matt (@mattxiv) April 10, 2023

If every Grindr screenshot were sweet like that, this debate probably wouldn’t be as supercharged.

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