Over the previous five months, a man named Matthew Herrick stated that about 1,100 men showed up in his home as well as his workplace and expected sex. Herrick is now suing Grindr, a popular gay and bisexual dating app catered to men, because of the situation.
According to his complaint, Herrick, a 32 year old man, has become the victim and target of a brutal revenge scheme that has played out via Grindr’s platform.
One of Herrick’s ex-boyfriends, who he initially met using the app, has reportedly started creating fake user accounts dating back to October 2016. The accounts consist of Herrick’s photos as well as personal details, even some false information such as a claim that Herrick is HIV positive.
Allegedly, the ex invited these men over to Herrick’s apartment as well as the restaurant he works at, sometimes including as much as 16 of these strangers per day. In a few instances, the men are told that Herrick may be resistant “as part of an agreed upon rape fantasy or role play.”
“What are Grindr’s legal responsibilities,” Aaron Mackey, a legal fellow at Frank Stanton. “And what are its corporate and ethical responsibilities to its users when it learns that its platform is being abused in this way?”
Attorney Carrie Goldberg stated: “Much of our work is about finding the cracks and holes in [Section] 230. Companies don’t deserve special protections when their product is dangerous and [Section] 230 doesn’t give them protection in such cases.”
An email from Grindr last March said: “Grindr claims it cannot control who uses its product and that it lacks the basic software capabilities used by its competitors and the social media industry.”
“There is currently a war between online speech providers and people who are unhappy with that speech. It just seems like it is getting busier. People do the worst things online and it sucks — but that’s not the issue. The issue is who to blame for it.”