Gay dating apps like Grindr and Hornet are sending users in Egypt tips on how to protect themselves from entrapment after an anti-gay crackdown in the country.
Last month, an LGBT flag was waved at a concert headlined by Lebanese rock band, Mashrou’ Leila, whose lead singer is openly gay.
At the time, officials called the incident an assault on Egypt and its morals, but some, including dating apps defended the LGBT community by sharing images of the flag on social media.
Since the incident, nearly 70 people have been arrested and more than 20 people have been given prison sentences ranging from six months to six years.
Local reports said Egyptian police were using online dating services to entrap people suspected of being gay and transgender.
And now, gay dating apps are sending messages to users to warn them about the crackdown, offering advice such as checking whether they have any mutual friends with a new match, and letting people know where they are meeting their dates.
They are also suggesting that people should use video chat before meeting in person.
Grindr director Jack Harrison-Quintana said: “It will make people take more precautions … we know that the police are under pressure to arrest people and they are going about doing that through all the avenues that they have.
“We always send out messages like this to users who are in places where there is an elevated level of risk.”
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