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In 2014, Facebook started letting users choose from more than 50 different terms for describing their identity.Tinder engineers adjusted the field where a user enters a chosen gender identity to leave it completely open, giving users the freedom to enter whatever term they’re most comfortable with, rather than having a restrictive drop-down of options.Rad said that it was clear many of these users were being “reported” simply because of their gender identity, creating a hostile environment within the larger app community.The tech company then partnered with GLAAD, the nonprofit organization aimed at raising awareness and advocacy for LGBT issues, to figure out the best way to make changes to the app that would be most beneficial to the transgender community.“We realized this is a very complex issue and we wanted to take the time to get this right,” Rad said.For Drucker, this was one of the most progressive changes made to the app.
Much of the violence that trans people encounter is in the context of sex and dating, and for us to be empowered with the tools to communicate who we are and on our own terms, is incredible.”Tinder isn’t the first social media company to shift away from the male-female gender binary.
“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.
Once a profile has been created, members can view the profiles of other members of the service, using the visible profile information to decide whether or not to initiate contact.
Most services offer digital messaging, while others provide additional services such as webcasts, online chat, telephone chat (VOIP), and message boards.