Thanks so much for a great article, Jake Hall. I have gay friends in Lebanon and Saudi Arabia, and I’m reaching out to them now to ask for their thoughts and comments.
I get the impression, though, that they’re mostly grateful for Grindr and similar apps, for the community building they make possible.
Lebanon and even Saudi, though, are very different from Russia — much more tolerant. Even though homosexulity is strictly legally proscribed in Saudi, it’s quietly winked at by the government and doesn’t arouse much public indignation.
It’s much like alcohol. Do it behind closed doors, don’t flaunt it, and nobody will come looking for you.
So, I think Grindr meshes well with that ethos. More than one Saudi prince is rumored to have an account!
How well my friends think the security is tuned for their needs, I don’t know. I know they don’t post pose real profile pics of themselves. Beyond that, I’m not sure. I’m hoping one or more of them may show up here and comment with some direct, personal observations.
Thanks for the story!