Apple Clarifies New Rules Won't Affect Grindr, Other Dating Apps

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Thursday June 10, 2021

Apple's new rules around dating apps won't affect popular platforms like Grindr and Scruff, but are intended to shut down "apps that used dating only as a cover for pornography, prostitution, or human trafficking," AppleInsider reports.

"The Cupertino tech giant on Monday updated its App Store Review Guidelines to clarify some existing policies and add new requirements for apps," the outlet explained. "One of those changes, guideline 1.1.4, bans 'hookup' apps that include pornography or are used to facilitate prostitution."

The revised guidelines, as Pink News noted, would ban "overtly sexual or pornographic material, defined by Webster's Dictionary as 'explicit descriptions or displays of sexual organs or activities intended to stimulate erotic rather than aesthetic or emotional feelings.'"

Some took this to mean that Apple was targeting hookup apps like Grindr. But the tech company made it clear that the action only "codifies" policies against pornography and prostitution that were already in place, and added that "the change was made because of recent scam app developments that it wanted to stop before it could spread throughout the App Store," AppleInsider said.

"The company made clear that there is no prohibition on dating preferences within its App Review policies."

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.