Well this was only a matter of time: Grindr claims its first (reported) sexual assault with a minor.
Vancouver’s Bren Tynan, 54, stands accused of using the iPhone app to lure, or whatever, a 15-year-old boy for some sexual touching.
It’s going to be easy to blame Grindr for this one, the same way it’s easy to blame MySpace or Facebook for other “hetero” sexual assaults. But while a piece of software may help enable these terrible acts, it’s the users, and their parents and guardians, who bear responsibility. (This isn’t a matter of blaming the victim; this 15-year-old, whether he was after sex or not, cannot be branded a responsible party here.)
While Grindr has a 17-and-over policy, anyone with an iPhone can download the program and just click “Yes” when asked if they are of age.
So what to do? Keep iPhones out of the hands of minors? Not good enough; they still know how to get on Manhunt and open themselves up to the possibility of assault. Like everything else, children’s parents need to be involved, monitoring what they’re doing on what device, and having candid conversations about staying safe on the Internet (and cell network). Oh, and also prosecute the shit out of this perverts, who are scum.