Grindr Warns Egyptian Men of Police Entrapment

by Jason St. Amand

National News Editor

Friday September 26, 2014

BuzzFeed is reporting that Grindr is sending a message to all Egyptian users this week, warning that police may be "posing as LGBT on social media to entrap you," after six men in the country were sentenced Thursday to two years in prison with labor for allegedly advertising their apartment on Facebook for men to have sex with each other.

This may be the first time where Egyptians have been caught on social media for charges of homosexuality, BuzzFeed points out. Local reports say that about 80 people have been arrested for alleged homosexuality since October. Eight men are scheduled to be in court Saturday after allegedly being in a video that shows a couple of men in a wedding ceremony.

Human rights activists say Egyptian police have targeted LGBT people via social media, thanks to President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi's reign. Egyptian officials also told BuzzFeed that authorities are closely watching Facebook groups for LGBT Egyptians. The site points out there isn't a lot of "solid information about how social media had been used to entrap LGBT people."

Grindr came under fire this summer when it was pointed out that the gay hookup app's GPS feature allows others to find users' exact locations. Earlier this month, Grindr shut off the function in countries with anti-gay polices, including Egypt, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Liberia, Sudan, Zimbabwe and more.