An NYC man feels victimized and is suing the popular app Grindr with allegations that at least 1,100 men have shown up to his home and job expecting sex after using the dating app.
Matthew Herrick claims that for the last five months, an ex-boyfriend used Grindr, a popular dating app for gay and bisexual men, to create fake accounts using his image, which eventually led to as many as 16 people a day arriving at his home or place of work and “aggressively demanding sex.”
“My entire life has been stolen from me. My privacy has been taken from me. I’m humiliated daily,” Herrick said in an interview with Wired magazine. “It’s a living hell.”
According to NYDailyNews, besides sharing photos and details about Herrick, some profiles reportedly claimed that he was HIV positive and warned that interested men should not be discouraged if he’s resistant at first because it’s “part of an agreed upon rape fantasy or role play.”
Herrick and his lawyers say Grindr shares some of the blame for offering a “dangerous product,” and that the app is specifically responsible for product liability, fraud, and deceptive business practices.
According to Herrick’s legal complaint, “Grindr does not use even standard, widely available software programs … routinely used by interactive service providers to control their sites and products and to facilitate the safety and security of their users and the public.”
Grindr’s legal defense, Daniel Waxman of Bryan Cave LLP, spoke on behalf of the dating app saying that Grindr “cooperates with law enforcement” and features a “system of digital and human screening tools.” A statement from the company emphasized, “While we are constantly improving upon this process, it is important to remember that Grindr is an open platform.”
Herrick’s complaint against Grindr claims that he filed over 100 reports notifying the app of the fake profiles, but the only reply he received was a message stating, “Thank you for your report.”
“They were setting him up to be sexually assaulted,” Herrick’s lawyer told Wired. “It’s just luck that it hasn’t happened yet.”