Bowing to pressure from a healthcare group, dating app Tinder of West Hollywood has added a link within its app directing users to testing facilities for sexually transmitted diseases.
The addition comes after AIDS Healthcare Foundation of Hollywood last September posted billboards around Los Angeles linking Tinder and gay dating app Grindr of West Hollywood to the spread of STDs. Then, Tinder quickly fired back a statement denouncing the alleged connection and sent the nonprofit a cease and desist letter.
Tinder has come under scrutiny in the media for its app’s role in so-called hookup culture. Perceptions of promoting promiscuity were further inflamed by several questionable media interviews given by the company’s chief executive, Sean Rad, in which he discussed his sexual history and disclosed that Tinder rates its users’ desirability, which he said was purely for internal purposes.
However, now that Tinder is including link to STD testing facilities in its app, AIDS Healthcare Foundation said it will remove billboards and other advertisements referencing the dating app.
Tinder declined to be interviewed, but in a statement explained its addition of information on STD testing centers was a matter of health and safety:
"An important aspect of any healthy relationship – whether formed on Tinder or otherwise – is ensuring sexual health and safety,” the company said in its statement. “While the CDC, who conducted the largest and most credible study on the topic, has never identified any connection that supports the idea that Tinder usage correlates with, let alone causes, an increase in STDs, we're of course in favor of organizations that provide public education resources on the topic."
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