This is getting ridiculous.
Grindr, the iPhone app that lets homos find nearby homos, has recently tightened its user guidelines.
Already forced to censor its users because of Apple's strict content guidelines, Grindr has added new rules to its terms of service:
For your Grindr profile photo: "No underwear can be visible." Also: "Pants and shorts must be worn normally, buttoned and not pulled or hanging down."
For your Grindr profile text: "No text referring to genital size or sexual acts."
Whether you're a size queen or not, these new rules are concerning. Would Grindr ban a user from self-identifying as a "top," because that implies a sexual act? At this rate, it won't be long before we'll have to pose in suits and ties for our Grindr profile pics. I'm clearly exaggerating... but why should horny gay guys have to play coy when we're looking for sex?
Sure, Grindr users can send dirty pictures through private messages, but these new rules point to a bigger issue: Apple needs to remove its restrictions on sexy content. Forcing all iPhone app developers to sanitize content to meet a family-friendly, PG-13 standard is simply not fair to the rest of us.
Apple's restrictions on iPhone apps have led many gay hookup websites to simply ditch app development altogether. Squirt.org and DudesNude.com have developed mobile-friendly websites, rather than apps. Recon.com has created an iPhone app, but it requires mobile users to agree to "not post any adult photos or text." A quick look at Recon Mobile shows that many guys are posting sexy pics and text anyway. My guess is that Recon Mobile will, unfortunately, need to start censoring its users. Otherwise, the app could face removal from the Apple App Store, given Apple's recent purge of sexy apps.
Apple could easily resolve all of this by creating an "explicit," adult-only section in its App Store. There have been rumours but nothing has been confirmed. What's the delay?
As for Grindr, users who break the terms of service may have their photo and/or profile text removed or cropped by Grindr staff. "We have censors who work 24/7 to review each profile," Grindr founder and CEO Joel Simkhai told Xtra in 2009.
Read Grindr's full guidelines here.