For gays in countries which outlaw gay sex, social networking can be a blessing and a curse

AfricaSeptember 29, 2014 – Reported by the StarTribune.com – For gay men in the dozens of countries that criminalize their sex lives, social networking can be a blessing or a curse.

High-tech dating apps and social media have enabled countless men to expand their circles of friends and lovers in settings that are hostile to any overt trace of homosexuality. Yet the same technology that they gratefully embrace can expose them to the risk of blackmail, arrest and violence.

In one chilling case earlier this year in Pakistan, police arrested a paramedic on suspicion of killing three men he had met via the gay social network Manjam, which is based in London but has many users in Asia and the Middle East. The suspect told police he considered homosexuality to be evil.

More recently, bloggers and activists raised concerns about how the popular dating app Grindr could be used to pinpoint a user’s exact location — even a user living where gay sex is outlawed. After complaints mounted, Grindr announced steps this month to reduce the risks for users in countries with a record of anti-gay violence — including Russia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Liberia, Sudan and Zimbabwe…

via For gays in countries which outlaw gay sex, social networking can be a blessing and a curse | Star Tribune.

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