Tinder has been accused of banning transgender users for no good reason.
Kat Blaque, who has more than 142,000 subscribers on YouTube, is the most prominent trans person to raise their voice in outrage.
Kat, who has had three accounts deleted from the app, took down the dating app in a tweetstorm which encouraged other trans users to tell their own, similar stories.
Speaking directly to Tinder on Twitter, the vlogger said: “You want the front facing image of inclusion and acceptance and yet on the back end, you don’t really serve the community you claim to serve.
“I can only conclude that my account was targeted and deleted because I was trans.
“And I’m not the first one.”
This isn’t the first time the dating app has been accused of deleting trans people.
Two years ago, the company faced a huge backlash after banning multiple trans people from the app.
It took steps to rectify the problem, including changing its gender options to include trans people and anyone who didn’t want to specify their gender.
These trans-inclusive options, introduced last year, enabled users to identify as trans in a variety of ways.
At the time, the company stated on its website: “No one will ever be banned from Tinder because of their gender.
“We haven’t had the right tools to serve our diverse community in the past, but that changes today.”
Many are now arguing that very little has, in fact, changed.
Blaque, who is also a children’s illustrator, listed possibilities for why she had been repeatedly deleted, ending with the scenario in which she was simply being targeted for being an openly trans woman.
“The first time I got banned, I didn’t want to think that’s what it was,” she wrote.
“But at this point… how isn’t it? At this point, how can’t it be?”
She proceeded to lay out the evidence.
“I’ve been banned 3 times on Tinder. I’ve put an incredible amount of money into Tinder.
“I’ve purchased two Gold accounts, upwards of about 200 dollars in boosts and each time, my account gets banned and the only commonality is that I list myself, proudly, as transgender.”
She continued: “I honestly let a lot of this s*** slide because I didn’t want to have to take this conversation public or write about it more than I am now.
“But Tinder essentially took my money and then deleted my account without answer because of what I now can only assume is transphobia.”
After her account had eventually been fully restored, Tinder responded to apologise.
Through Twitter, the company wrote: “First, we want to say we are sorry for your experience on Tinder.
“To say we believe in inclusivity and acceptance is an understatement – it’s a core value of our company. Clearly, something went wrong here.
“We have looked into your profile and have made sure your account is active and you have been refunded for your purchases.
“Thank you for sharing your experience. Although we’re sorry to hear this, by speaking out you are helping us to make our product better and make the experience of our diverse users better.
“We hope you will give us the opportunity to continue growing and making Tinder a better place for everyone to make meaningful connections.”
But Kat pointed out that for many, publicly savaging Tinder after it bans your account is only an option for the select few people who have a large enough social media following.
“Can I also add that it’s really s***ty that I had to use what little clout I had to get your attention?” she wrote.
“Your app regularly deletes trans people’s pages.
“I didn’t know that was a thing until I made that thread. I shouldn’t have my account frozen or deleted because I’m transgender.”
As Kat said, other trans people have been through the same experience, including Tahlia René, who studies public health at the University of Texas at Austin.
Unlike Kat, Tahlia is still blocked from using her account.
In response to her complaints, Tinder simply said that she broke their community guidelines “in some way”.
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But Tahlia said that “we all know this is because of men mass reporting me for being trans.”
She added about Tinder: “Their ‘trans inclusiveness’ is such a f***ing joke.
“Your 30 gender options don’t do us s*** when we get auto banned from volume of reports alone, Tinder”.
She continued: “This has happened to so many trans women I know and Tinder does not give a single f***.
“They just use us as a marketing ploy to prove how ‘inclusive’ they are”.
“What good does it do me to be able to put that I’m trans on tinder if I’m just gonna get reported and banned over it?
“All this is doing is incentivising trans women to hide it and not put it in our profiles, Tinder”.
And the student added: “The best part is that next to none of the men who harass me that I report get banned like this yet I do just for being trans, Tinder”.
Another trans user leant their voice to the wave of outrage, tweeting: “I got banned from tinder before too because I was reported for being trans and they didn’t even reply to my email”.