A man is suing Grindr for enabling his ex-boyfriend to allegedly impersonate him on the app in order to lure men to his home.
Matthew Herrick of New York says it all began in October 2015 when his ex made several fake profiles of him on Grindr. Strange men began showing up at his apartment and at the restaurant where he worked. As many as nine men visited him daily, assuming they would have sex. In total, Herrick estimates that close to 700 men have attempted to solicit sex from him over the past year and a half because of the fake profiles.
Herrick also alleges that his ex started giving out his phone number, which resulted in many unsolicited text messages, as well as many explicit photos, being sent.
Matters would escalate when, according to Herrick, the fake profiles began to outline him as being interested in rough and unprotected sex, as well as being into orgies and drug use. He says the resulting batch of new visitors were at times violent.
According to Herrick’s suit, one incident saw a man visit his apartment to enact a rape fantasy discussed with one of the fake profiles. The man was told Herrick would “say no when he means yes”. When Herrick asked the man to leave, he was attacked.
“They were setting him up to be sexually assaulted,” Carrie Goldberg, Herrick’s attorney, told Wired. “It’s just luck that it hasn’t happened yet.”
As for Grindr’s responsibility in this, the suit alleges that Grindr refused to respond to any of the 50 calls Herrick made regarding the issue.
“A malicious user is just running amok using their product as a weapon,” said Goldberg. “Grindr can control that, and they’re not.”
And despite a judge signing an injunction last Friday to force Grindr to block the fake profiles, they haven’t. Herrick claims at least 24 men have come to his apartment and place of work since.
“My entire life has been stolen from me. My privacy has been taken from me. I’m humiliated daily,” said Herrick. “It’s a living hell.”