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Gay hook-up app Scruff bans jockstraps from profile pictures

Patrick Kelleher January 28, 2019
Scruff bans jockstraps from profile pictures

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Gay hook-up app Scruff has banned jockstraps and other underwear from profile pictures, citing app store regulations as the reason.

The changes to the terms of use were announced by CEO Eric Silverberg on the Scruff website, where he suggested that a lack of policy around profile pictures could lead to Scruff being removed from app stores.

He also said the app had been removed briefly “earlier this year,” and said that if the ban had been permanent, it would have been “devastating to our company and our community.”

“The primary profile photo may not show jockstraps, underwear, or bikini-style swimwear.”

– Eric Silverberg, Scruff CEO

“Moving forward, to comply with app store guidelines, the primary profile photo may not show jockstraps, underwear, or bikini-style swimwear,” Silverberg said.

“We have also clarified our policy by removing references to hugging and kissing – it is specifically sexually suggesting embraces that may not align with app store guidelines.

“Given that Scruff is a community that speaks openly and positively about sex, bodies, and intimacy, some feel that such polices are at odds with those values. Such criticism is not unfounded.

“Scruff respects the concerns voiced by our community on this matter, and we encourage everyone to continue to hold us, and all tech companies, accountable for the content and conduct standards we enforce,” he finished.

Scruff users express dissatisfaction

The statement comes after some users of the app expressed their frustration online after they opened Scruff last week and were greeted with a message about new photo guidelines.

The message read: “Profile photo guidelines are changing.

“We encourage everyone to continue to hold us, and all tech companies, accountable for the content and conduct standards we enforce.”

– Eric Silverberg, Scruff CEO

“To comply with platform policies, photos in underwear, jockstraps or bikini style bathing suits are no longer permitted in profile photos.”

One Twitter user, @Pup_Amp, tweeted a screenshot of the message to the app’s official Twitter, saying: “Craigslist. Backpage. Tumblr. Now even @scruffapp, a gay dating app you have to be of consenting age to use, is censoring how it’s [sic] users can post photos?

“This isn’t lookin so good guys…” he said.

Gay hook-up app Scruff bans jockstraps from profile pictures
Pexels

Another Twitter user, @grahamharbison, shared a screenshot of his own Scruff account, where he received a message saying a recent photo he uploaded had been moved to his private album as it was “too hot for Scruff.”

He said that the photo had shown him shirtless, and asked the app to clarify why it had been moved.

Another Twitter user also suggested that a photo of himself and his husband kissing had been censored by Scruff.

Scruff allows users to ‘filter’ men based on ethnicity

This is not the first time Scruff has faced criticism. The app came under fire in 2016 for allowing men to “filter” people based on their ethnicity.

Speaking to Buzzfeed about the controversy at the time, CEO Eric Silverberg said: “Those are legitimate critiques… ultimately we wanted to build an app and a service that enables guys to find the kind of guys they’re into and for some people that includes – that can mean many things for different people.

“Sometimes they have ethnic preferences, sometimes they have height/weight preferences, sometimes people have body hair preferences.”

– Eric Silverberg, Scruff CEO

“Sometimes they have ethnic preferences, sometimes they have height/weight preferences, sometimes people have body hair preferences.”

“A person’s choice of partner is deeply personal, and I don’t think we would presume to judge or tilt one’s choice of sexual partner, boyfriend, or husband..

“Ultimately each one of our own individual choices is profoundly informed by the community we grow up in, perhaps by the relationships we had with our siblings or parents.”

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