False claim that Apple has banned the dating app Grindr from its app store


The Claim: Grindr Banned from Apple’s App Store

A viral meme claims that a popular LGBTQ + dating app has been banned by Apple.

“Apple banned Grindr from the App Store,” read the first section of a graphic shared on Facebook on September 26.

The meme also mentions new Texas laws banning most abortions and adult workers under the age of 21 from working in strip clubs, as well as eBay banning the sale of erotica. These recent bans are collectively referred to as signs that “We are descending into a Christian dystopia and you don’t want to see it. They will not stop ”.

Below the text, which is identical to a June 13 tweet that went viral on Twitter, is an edited version of a comic book by political cartoonist Gary Varvel showing the calendar going back to 1984, a reference to the George Orwell novel used to criticize censorship. .

The image and similar images have been shared widely on Facebook and Instagram, racking up hundreds of interactions since June.

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One problem though: Apple has never banned Grindr.

USA TODAY has reached out to Facebook and Twitter users for comment.

Confusion over new app store guidelines

In early June, Apple announced changes to its App Store guidelines, changes to crack down on scammers, bogus reviews, and other potential criminal activity.

The amendment also targeted apps with overt pornographic content or those that facilitate prostitution or human trafficking, LGBTQ and lifestyle magazine Out reported.

Under guideline 1.1.4, applications “which may include pornography or be used to facilitate prostitution” could also be removed. The new change has sparked controversy online, with some interpreting it to mean that Apple would ban dating apps, especially ones that cater to the LGBTQ + community like Grindr and Scruff.

In an email to USA TODAY, Apple said the company has never authorized apps dedicated to pornography or human trafficking on its App Store, and the guideline has simply been updated to clarify. its position to application developers.

Long-standing casual dating apps, like Grindr or Scruff, that do not intentionally include pornographic images or have other malicious intent have not been and will not be rejected, a spokesperson for Apple to USA TODAY in an emailed statement.

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The other demands of the position are random.

Texas introduced a law banning abortion after a heartbeat is detected and another requiring employees and patrons of strip clubs to be 21 and over. Lawmakers said the limits had been raised from 18 in a bid to tackle sex trafficking, especially of underage workers.

And the meme is only partially right about eBay. The company has announced that starting June 15, any adult item with illegal or explicitly sexual content will be banned for sale. Sellers, however, will still be able to list adult items, such as sex toys or nude paintings, if those listings do not show sexual content.

Our rating: False

Based on our research, we rate the claim that Grindr has been banned from Apple’s App Store FALSE. The claim comes from a viral tweet sparked by confusion over updated guidelines from Apple’s App Store. The company has confirmed that the Grindr dating app has never been banned.

Our sources of fact-checking:

  • Know Your Meme, January 19, alive 1984

  • @VeeChattie, June 13, Tweet (archived)

  • The Verge, June 7, Apple’s New App Store Guidelines Warn Scammers, Bounty Hunters

  • Released June 10, Apple Clarifies Grindr, Scruff’s Future After App Guidelines Update

  • Apple, accessed September 28, App Store Review Guidelines

  • The Guardian, June 15 No, Apple’s new policy doesn’t mean it bans Grindr

  • Reuters, June 16, Fact Check-Apple did not ban Grindr from the US App Store

  • Apple, September 28, phone and email conversation with USA TO

  • USA TODAY, September 1, What You Need To Know About Texas’ Abortion Law That Bans The Procedure Once A Heart Rhythm Is Detected

  • Reason June 3 Barely Legal Strippers Now Totally Illegal in Texas

  • San Antonio Current, June 1, Texas Governor signs new law requiring employees and patrons of strip clubs to be at least 21 years old

  • The Verge, May 14, eBay to enact sex ban from June 15

  • eBay, accessed September 28, Adult Items Policy

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Our fact-checking work is supported in part by a grant from Facebook.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact Check: False Claim Apple Banned Dating App Grindr

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