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This is going to be an ongoing thing for the company — it’s not just us.Three guys are sitting at a Harlem bartop eating fries, drinking whiskey and talking about love.
But if they hadn’t said so, you wouldn’t have known.
Tinder co-founder and CEO Sean Rad told CBS News that several of the company’s own employees shed light on the problem of in-app harassment against transgender users that many others in the company at large weren’t aware of.
For example, not only did transgender users say they received inappropriate messages, but they were also being “reported” to the app unfairly by other users.
The changes come after complaints that many transgender users were being inappropriately “reported” and subsequently blocked by other users, in addition to the reality that after matching with prospective dates or partners, many transgender users received derogatory or threatening messages through the app.
The changes to the app are personal for Zackary Drucker, a performance artist and associate producer on the popular Amazon series “Transparent.” Drucker used the app in the past and consulted with Tinder while it was looking into how to be more inclusive.“Dating while trans is difficult, and one of the biggest hurdles is disclosing your trans status,” Drucker told CBS News in an email.
“We started put together the ‘dream team’ around not just understanding issues surrounding the transgender community but also understanding the harassment that’s out there in the real world.”Rad said that the overriding goal is for transgender users to ultimately “get matched with people who appreciate who they are.” Beyond that, the company hopes to reduce the harassment users encounter through the app.“The least visible but most impactful thing that we worked on was through back-end algorithm moderation.
Our tools were re-written from the ground up so that we could better pinpoint harassment that is happening in the platform and allow us to quickly react and delete people quickly,” he stressed.
Over the last three years, transgender awareness has exploded.
From , from Janet Mock to Caitlyn Jenner, America has a growing fascination with the lives of transgender people, most recently in light of recent debates over controversial bathroom laws.
They met at work, he says, and by the time he came out to her, they were already in love.
“I said ‘I’m trans, and you’re not gonna want me anyway,” he recalls, unable to keep the smile off his face.
The other men light up when they hear the news and start talking about rings, how much they cost, will it be princess cut or pear shaped? “That was one of my dreams, to get married, to be somebody’s husband, to be somebody’s father,” says one of the friends, Redd Barrett.