Showing posts with label Grindr. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Grindr. Show all posts

July 16, 2019

A Man Targeted Shot Two Gay Men Using Grindr




   Image result for Demetris Nelson, 26


A Detroit man who allegedly used the dating app Grindr to target gay men to rob them is accused of fatally shooting one man and seriously wounding another.

Demetris Nelson, 26, has been charged with first-degree murder and felony murder in connection with the fatal shooting of Brian Anderson, 31, and assault with intent to murder in connection with the shooting of a 26-year-old man, who is in critical condition.

Nelson is also charged with assault with the intent to rob while armed, felon in possession of a firearm and four counts of felony firearm.

Wayne County prosecutors say Nelson shot the two men on July 6 during the course of an attempted robbery. Nelson, prosecutors allege, targeted Anderson and the other man because they were gay.
In a press release, prosecutor Kym Worthy said, “The allegations are that social media contacts were used to target, contact, rob, fatally shoot one gay man, and seriously wound another gay man. To some, this will be just another hateful and violent act in America. They will read about this case and continue to go about their day. To me, that is quite tragic.” 

“We are saddened and outraged by this despicable crime,” Fair Michigan President Alanna Maguire said in a statement. “This case is just the most recent example of how members of Detroit’s LGBTQ community are too often targets of violence. The Fair Michigan Justice Project is proud to partner with the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office and the Detroit Police Department to aggressively prosecute these ruthless crimes.”

• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.
Fair Michigan assists Michigan law enforcement officers and prosecutors solve crimes against LGBTQ people.

Nelson allegedly confessed to the crimes, according to FOX2.

“You stated that you allegedly got into the backseat of the Ford Edge allegedly producing a 9mm silver black handgun, announcing a robbery,” Magistrate Jeffrey Kleparek said at Nelson’s arraignment Friday in 36 District Court, according to FOX2. “And then, allegedly proceeding to shoot victim two in the back of the head.”

It is unclear if Nelson has retained an attorney who could speak on his behalf.
Officers were called to the scene at 4:15 a.m. on July 6 and found a vehicle crashed over the side of the ramp on the side of the I-94.

“They went to the I-94 and discovered [the wounded victim] in the front passenger seat and Brian Anderson was the driver,” Maria Miller, Wayne County assistant prosecuting attorney, tells PEOPLE. “Anderson died from a gunshot wound. [The wounded victim] was assaulted but he survived.”
Nelson was arrested on July 8.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for August 2.


March 30, 2019

Grindr Was Banned From Selling Dating Apps to US Personnel Being A Threat~~But Then China Comes In




grindr china





 


A Chinese gaming company has decided to sell the popular LGBTQ dating app Grindr LLC after a U.S. national security panel declared the app to be a threat to service members, Reuters first reported.

Beijing Kunlun Tech Co Ltd, which has owned the California-based dating app since 2016, decided to sever ties at the behest of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, or CFIUS, which pointed to major concerns over personal data of app users — notably military and intelligence personnel — being made publicly available.

Grindr, which labels itself “the largest social networking app for gay, bi, trans, and queer people,” came under intense heat last year when it was revealed that the app was releasing the HIV statuses of users without their permission.

The app had 27 million users as of 2017, Reuters reported.

Currently, the app’s privacy policy allows for the data collection of a user’s location, messages and HIV status, the report said.


The decision of CFIUS to intervene in Grindr’s business operations signals increasing doubt on the part of U.S. officials in the ability of Chinese businesses to keep sensitive information of Americans secret.

In recent years, the panel also blocked the sale of the money transfer company MoneyGram to Chinese business owners, the report said.

The Trump administration has been at the forefront of scrutinizing Chinese cyber practices.

Trump says Google is committed to US not Chinese military

Amid growing concern about the risks of Google and other U.S. companies doing business in China, President Donald Trump said Wednesday that the CEO of Google has "strongly stated" that he is "totally committed" to the American, not Chinese, military.

By: Deb Riechmann, The Associated Press
Earlier this month, President Trump accused Google in a tweet of “helping China and their military, but not the U.S.”

Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Google’s artificial intelligence venture in China and other U.S. companies’ business in the country indirectly benefit the Chinese military and create a challenge for the United States as it seeks to maintain a competitive advantage.

“CFIUS made the right decision in unwinding Grindr’s acquisition," U.S. Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Edward Markey commented in a statement acknowledging CFIUS’ intervention of the app.


“It should continue to draw a line in the sand for future foreign acquisition of sensitive personal data.”

A spokesman for CFIUS said the national security panel does not comment on public cases like Grindr, according to Reuters.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

April 5, 2018

I’m a Gay Psychiatrist and Here’s Why I Went on Grindr to Survey Men {What is Grind'r Doing to Our Gay Men?}


 

This story originated at VOX and it has the adamfoxie🦊blog taste


When I open the Grindr app on my smartphone, I see there’s a 26-year-old man with tanned abs just 200 feet away. He’s called “looking4now,” and his profile explains that he wants sex at his place as soon as possible.
Scrolling down, I find 100 similar profiles within a one-mile radius of my apartment in Boston. I can filter them by body type, sexual position (top, bottom, or versatile), and HIV status.
As a gay psychiatrist who studies gender and sexuality, I’m thrilled with the huge strides we’ve made over the past decade to bring gay relationships into the mainstream. The Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right. Today in Boston, two men can walk down the street holding hands without consequence.
But I’m worried by the rise of the underground digital bathhouse. Apps like Grindr, with 3 million daily active users, and others like Scruff and Jack’d, are designed to help gay men solicit sex, often anonymously, online. I am all for sexual liberation, but I can’t stop wondering if these apps also have a negative effect on gay men’s mental health.
Since there’s little published research on the men using Grindr, I decided to conduct an informal survey and ask men why they’re on the app so much and how it’s affecting their relationships and mental health. I created a profile identifying myself as a medical writer looking to talk to men about their experiences. I received about 50 responses (including propositions). 
It’s a small sample size, but enough to give us some clues about how Grindr is affecting gay men. And it doesn’t look good.

Apps like Grindr are designed to make finding sex easy. And that can make them hard to stop using.

The most common reason users gave for going on the app is that sex feels great and Grindr makes it accessible, right at your fingertips. The screen full of half-naked men excites users. With a few clicks, there’s a possibility of meeting a sexual partner within the hour.
Neuroscientists have shown that orgasm causes activation of pleasure areas of the brain like the ventral tegmental area while deactivating areas involved with self-control. And these patterns of activation in men are strikingly similar to what researchers see in the brain of individuals using heroin or cocaine. So when a neutral action (clicking on Grindr) is paired with a pleasurable response in the brain (orgasm), humans learn to do that action over and over again.
This can be a normal pleasure response or it could be a setup for addiction, depending on the situation and individual.
Grindr, intentionally or not, also leverages a psychological concept called variable ratio reinforcement, in which rewards for clicking come at unpredictable intervals. You may find a hookup immediately, or you may be on your phone for hours before you find one.
Variable ratio reinforcement is one of the most effective ways to reinforce behavior, and it makes stopping that behavior extremely difficult. Slot machines are a classic example. Because gamblers never know when the next payout will come, they can’t stop pulling the handle. They hold out hope that the next pull will give them the pleasurable sound of coins clanking against a metal bin, and they end up pulling for hours.
Now imagine a slot machine that rewards you with an orgasm at unpredictable intervals. This is potentially a powerful recipe for addiction and may explain why one user I spoke with stays on Grindr for up to 10 hours at a time, hoping to find the perfect partner for casual sex.
The phrase “addiction” continues to be controversial when it comes to sex and technology, But as John Pachankis, an LGBTQ mental health expert at the Yale School of Public Health, described the impact of Grindr to me: “I don’t know if it’s an ‘addiction,’ but I know it causes a lot of distress.”
For now, it’s hard to know just how many Grindr users feel their use of the app is problematic. Early research on app use and health has focused only on sexually transmitted infections, for instance, rates of HIV among Grindr users, using Grindr to get people tested for STIs, etc. 
Just last week, Grindr announced that it will start sending users HIV testing reminders and the addresses of local testing sites (on an opt-in basis). In less pleasant news, BuzzFeed revealed on Monday that Grindr has also been sharing the HIV status of its users with third-party companies. (The company later said it would stop sharing the information.)
Though there is this new attention to sexual health, both Grindr and the research community have been silent on mental health. Yet since 2007, more gay men have died from suicidethan from HIV. 
This suggests it’s time we start thinking about Grindr’s health effects more broadly. Other dating apps, like Tinder, for example, are now the subject of early research looking at mental health implications. It’s time to do the same for gay hookup apps. 

Grindr may provide men with some relief from their anxiety and depression. But it’s temporary.

For some users I talked to, the allure of Grindr was not just the rush to feel good. It was to stop feeling bad. Users told me they log on when they feel sad, anxious, or lonely. Grindr can make those feelings go away. The attention and potential for sex distract from painful emotions.
A staggering number of gay men suffer from depression, with some estimates as high as 50 percent. Because gay men’s anxiety and depression often stem from childhood rejection for being gay, messages of affirmation from other gay men are particularly appealing. Unfortunately, these messages are typically only skin-deep: “Hey man, cute pic. Looking to ****?”
A recent survey of 200,000 iPhone users by Time Well Spent, a nonprofit focused on the digital attention crisis, showed that 77 percent of Grindr users felt regret after using the app.












 The users I interviewed told me that when they closed their phones and reflected on the shallow conversations and sexually explicit pictures they sent, they felt more depressed, more anxious, and even more isolated. Some experience overwhelming guilt following a sexual encounter in which no words are spoken. After the orgasm, the partner may walk out the door with little more than a “thanks.” 
And yet they keep coming back for that temporary emotional relief. One user told me that he feels so bad after a hookup that he jumps right back on the app, continuing the cycle until he is so tired he falls asleep. Every once in a while, he deletes the app, but he finds himself downloading it the next time he feels rejected or alone.
“We see patients like this almost every day,” Pachankis told me. “Apps like Grindr are often both a cause and a consequence of gay and bisexual men’s disproportionally poorer mental health. It’s a truly vicious cycle.”
Not all Grindr users are addicted and depressed, of course. Some users I interacted with seem to use Grindr in a healthy, positive way. One man I interviewed met his fiancé there; they are excitedly planning their wedding. Some I spoke with said they use the app for sex but haven’t suffered any negative consequences and have control over their use.

Using Grindr may keep men from finding lasting relationships

Why do so many of these men turn to Grindr to begin with? Perhaps Grindr’s popularity is a sign we haven’t made as much social progress as we think for same-sex relationships. The general population seems comfortable with the idea of gay marriage, but it’s still difficult for a gay man to find a partner.
One 23-year-old user told me that the only places he can find gay men are clubs and Grindr, and both are hypersexualized. The cultures of both intimidate him. According to Pachankis, gay culture is often “status-focused, competitive, hierarchical, and exclusionary.” He explains that these traits are common among men generally, but in the gay community, they become amplified in a group that “both socializes and sexualizes together.” 
The 23-year-old is afraid of rejection, and Grindr shields him from the pain of in-person turndowns. “My framework now is sex first. I don’t know how to date people in person.” 
His relationships, he says, start with casual sex on Grindr. They first meet at 2 am for a hookup. He’ll try to schedule the next sex date a little earlier, maybe 11 pm. Then the next step may be drinks.  
But this sex-first approach hasn’t led to lasting relationships for the men I interviewed and is affecting their self-worth and identity. “My self-esteem now is all about my sexual ability,” the 23-year-old said. “I don’t feel confident about myself as a partner in any other way.” 
Another user told me he downloaded the app hoping to find a husband. Now he says that when he and a boyfriend (he’s gone through several) fight, his natural response is to open Grindr to “find an alternative” instead of working through problems. He can’t maintain a monogamous relationship because he is constantly cheating.

There may be ways to treat men with problematic Grindr use

The mental health professionals I spoke to are seeing problematic Grindr use in their clinics. And there is little published guidance on how to help those who are struggling.
Doctors I spoke to say the best available tools for treating problematic Grindr use are the ones they use in general sex addiction treatment. Citalopram, a common antidepressant, was shown in one small study to be helpful with sex addiction in gay men. Naltrexone, a drug commonly used for other compulsive behaviors, may work as well. 
For more extreme cases, patients could request hormonal implants that turn off testosterone signaling, making sexual cravings less intense. However, even these treatments have modest empirical support at best, and none have been studied for hookup app use specifically.
Dr. Shane Kraus, the director of the behavioral addictions clinic at Bedford Veterans Hospital and an assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, says the most promising treatment for problematic Grindr use is likely talk therapy techniques like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). CBT can teach patients to engage in other behaviors that are more productive (though often more difficult and time-consuming than Grindr) to help them feel loved or supported. 
Another psychotherapeutic technique known as acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) can help teach patients how to better tolerate the feeling of being alone without logging on to Grindr.
The dynamics of Grindr, though, are complicated, and it can take time to work through all the angles. Are you self-soothing anxiety? Are you addicted to sex? Have you lost interest in your monogamous relationship? Do you think you can’t attain love, so you’re settling for hookups? Did your parents tell you being gay is wrong and you’re searching for acceptance? Ultimately, Kraus explains that therapy can help clarify these kinds of thoughts and feelings, and lead to insights that bring about a healthy change.
He also believes it’s only a matter of time before states and the federal government sponsor research exploring Grindr use and mental health. Grindr did not respond to our request for comment on this piece. But if future data supports what I suspect about the link between Grindr and mental health problems, even small interventions like advertising mental health resources on the app may help to address these users’ suffering.
As we continue to fight to bring gay relationships into the mainstream, we need to keep an eye on Grindr and how it both reflects and affects gay culture. The bathhouse is still around. It’s now open 24/7, accessible from your living room.
By Jack Turban a physician and medical writer at Harvard Medical School, where he researches gender and sexuality. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, Scientific American, and Psychology Today, among other publications. Find him on Twitter at @jack_turban.



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