Swipe Right for Prison

Dating apps can be wonderful for LGBT people in non-western countries. But the same apps can also be tremendously dangerous when authoritarian states start logging on.

Dating apps have not only democratised love and sex; they have globalised them too. You can be anywhere in the world, straight, gay or otherwise, and find a partner to suit your predilection, within your postcode, with a simple “swipe right” on your phone screen. It is all so easy, accessible and eminently safe – isn’t it?

Not for the growing LGBT communities in non-western countries, where homosexuality is either still illegal or a social taboo; where life-threatening attacks, extortion or jail sentences are a clear and present danger for those who use apps that in the West were originally designed simply to create a safe virtual space for finding same-sex love.

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