Apple touts itself as being one of the most pro-LGBTQ companies in the world, so you can imagine how Gay Twitter reacted upon hearing the news that the tech giant had plans to do away with apps like Grindr and Scruff from iOS. And during pride month no less!
But before you go feverishly tapping while you still can, Grindr isn’t going anywhere. Or Scruff for that matter.
The whole thing was a big misunderstanding, sparked by pesky little section 1.1.4 of Apple’s updated “what’s not allowed” section of its terms and conditions for developers who want to appear in the App Store.
“Overtly sexual or pornographic material,” it reads, “defined by Webster’s Dictionary as ‘explicit descriptions or displays of sexual organs or activities intended to stimulate erotic rather than aesthetic or emotional feelings.’ This includes ‘hookup’ apps that may include pornography or be used to facilitate prostitution.”
Many understandably read this as Apple laying out a path towards banning gay “dating” apps, which have been used to facilitate a hookup or two. Or so we hear.
Posts like these started popping up on Twitter:
Apple banning Grindr. I can’t wait for my cruising era
— rearea (@reagy_pops) June 9, 2021
Apple prepping to shut down queer dating apps is why we want to keep corporations out of Pride. Profit will always get in the way of queer liberation, whether it's Apple's Nanny State approach to content curation, or payment processors cutting off funds to sex workers.
— Jennifer/Aster Unkle (@jbu3) June 8, 2021
I know talking about “optics” is kinda dumb but is apple fr banning grindr during pride month
— Elon Musk – Amazon FC Ambassador ? (@prdctidea) June 8, 2021
apple: in celebration of pride month we're going to ban grindr!! https://t.co/v9Q7CDcWbH
— k?decrim (miners dni) (@eatthe1youlove) June 7, 2021
And yes, if Apple was banning Grindr and Scruff during the month of June (or any other month, really), the optics would not look great.
The good news is they are not.
Speaking to AppleInsider, the company clarified that the new language came in response to some recent scam apps popping up in the store, and is intended to “to stop the proliferation of apps that weren’t actually legitimate dating platforms.”
“Apple clarified that casual dating apps like Grindr or Scruff, which have been legitimately operating on the App Store for years, won’t be impacted by guideline 1.1.4,” the outlet of all things Apple reports. “The company made clear that there is no prohibition on dating preferences within its App Review policies.”