Jack’d couldn’t be happier that Scruff and Grindr have joined them in their fight to end discrimination in the gay app-mosphere. It’s no secret that for years, Scruff and Grindr had defended race-built filters, but all that changed this month when both apps announced new campaigns to end racial profiling on their platforms.
“I applaud them for coming around and finally seeing what is right,” says Alon Rivel, Director of Global Sales and Marketing at Online Buddies, the company behind Jack’d. “Everyone needs to work together on this. We cannot fight (racism) alone.”
Jack’d began urging its members to be the generation that ends racism last year. Their campaign pointed a critical finger at Grindr for allowing discriminatory tag lines like “No fats, no femmes” and “No blacks, no Asians” to run rampant on its platform.
“We were the first to not tolerate any sort of hateful language in our profiles,” Rivel points out. “We banned any user that incited hateful language or made attacks on any race, gender, or person based on the color of their skin, the way they look, or how they identify themselves.”
He says they will continue to do so and plan to expand their efforts with additional features rolling out this year, all aimed at making Jack’d even more inclusive.
Rivel contends that taking an early stand against racism wasn’t easy, especially when many in the LGBTQ community still argue that it isn’t fair to label sexual preference as racist.
“Frankly, we’re not concerned with the individuals who feel they are unfairly being labeled racist,” he says. “What is not fair is that groups of people are completely marginalized and made to feel insignificant. We support the feelings of men who have been told they are not good enough, pretty enough, or important enough because of the color of their skin.”
As far as Jack’d worrying that members may jump ship and head to Scruff and Grindr now that the competing apps have found enlightenment, Rivel says they don’t give it a second thought. “Our members have stayed loyal to us.”
He explains that the more important thing is that the user base at Scruff and Grindr evolve in their beliefs. “They need to understand that racist language and behavior is unacceptable and until they change, nothing will change.”