A Grindr user who sued the gay hookup app after an ex-boyfriend impersonated him and allegedly invited hundreds of men to his house and workplace expecting sex has had his lawsuit dismissed.
New York man Matthew Herrick alleged in the lawsuit that an ex-partner whom he met on the app in 2015 had created fake profiles using his photos.
He alleged the ex gave Grindr users the addresses of his apartment and his workplace and invited them there for group sex, bondage, and “rape fantasy” role playing.
But a federal judge in New York last week found the hook-up app could not be held liable for the malicious harassment.
“Allegedly hundreds of interested Grindr users have responded to the false profiles and many of them have physically sought out Herrick. This lawsuit is, however, against Grindr, not Herrick’s former boyfriend,” judge Valerie Caproni wrote in court documents published by Courthouse News.
Herrick claimed in the lawsuit that he was forced to contact Grindr more than 50 times to remove the fake profiles and said the company lacks the technology to effectively combat such abusive actions.
But the judge concluded “while the creation of the impersonating profiles may be sufficiently extreme and outrageous, Grindr did not create the profiles.”
Caproni said Grindr reserved the right to remove illicit content in its Terms of Service “but they do not represent that Grindr will do so.”
She agreed with Grindr that a section of the US Communications Decency Act of 1996 “immunizes Grindr for content created by others.”
A representative for Herrick’s attorney told Courthouse News the judge’s ruling and interpretation of the law was “misguided”.
In a statement responding to the case last year, Grindr said they’re “committed to creating a safe environment through a system of digital and human screening tools, while also encouraging users to report suspicious and threatening activities.”
“While we are constantly improving upon this process, it is important to remember that Grindr is an open platform,” the company said.
“Grindr cooperates with law enforcement on a regular basis and does not condone abusive or violent behavior.”