The app specialises in dating for LGBTQ+ people. For years, its £12.99 a month premium version of the app has allowed users to sort search results based on ethnicity, height, weight and other characteristics.
Posting on Instagram, the company said: “We stand in solidarity with the #BlackLivesMatter movement and the hundreds of thousands of queer people of color who log in to our app every day. We will continue to fight racism on Grindr, both through dialogue with our community and a zero-tolerance policy for racism and hate speech on our platform. As part of this commitment, and based on your feedback, we have decided to remove the ethnicity filter from our next release.”
To many, it is unclear how Grindr's solidarity with #BlackLivesMatter is commensurate with it having enabled the feature to begin with. The company has long argued that the filter enables “minority groups use[...] to quickly find other members of their minority community”, but studies have shown that it also enables racial discrimination on the platform.
Before taking the decision, Grindr had posted a now-deleted tweet reading “Demand Justice. #blacklivesmatter”, which attracted accusations of hypocrisy in light of the ethnicity filter.