Scruff’s New Warning: Hooking Up Here Is Illegal

22scruff-intransit-master675There are many important variables to keep in mind when cruising your smartphone for your next date, and the apps do an OK job at laying them out. Height, weight, appearance, “tribe,” and hopefully a little conversation give you a sense of who is tapping on the other end of the interweb.

With one new feature being launched Scruff tackles a threat that far outweighs someone using a photo from 7 years ago, though. In countries where homosexuality is still a criminal offense, users will receive a popup warning.

“This feature of the GPS-enabled app that was so exciting for us here in the United States, being able to meet guys nearby, became something of a liability for our members that were in other regions and other countries where homosexuality is criminalized,” said Eric Silverberg, a founder (with Johnny Skandros) of Scruff, and its chief executive.

Coupled with the popup is a new way to flag or report a user for violating the terms of use. “Entrapment” will now be an option.

The new features come after multiple reports of authorities using dating apps like Grindr and Scruff to sniff out gay people in Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

Scruff also rolled out a website listing all the countries where sexual acts between consenting adult males are criminalized throughout the world.

According to Scruff’s estimates, over a 30-day period some 100,000 users with accounts registered in the United States, Britain or Australia opened the app in a country where homosexuality is illegal.