According to NBC News, the popular gay dating app Grindr is being used more and more to both buy and sell drugs, despite the app's previous efforts to discourage such illegal behavior.
One man, identifying solely as Mike in order to remain anonymous, told NBC that he uses Grindr to sell his product because the app "gives me more clientele than I would normally get on the street." Mike also claims that it is relatively safer for him to use Grindr to push his product because he doesn't have to worry about being caught up in any turf wars between local dealers in the area.
While Grindr is primarily used as a dating or hook-up app for gay and bisexual men, it is also now increasingly being used to buy drugs.
According to the president of the National Association for LGBT Addiction Professionals, Phil McCabe," Today with Grindr, men can have sex and drugs delivered to their door instantly." The LGBTQ+ community also experiences higher rates of drug and alcohol abuse mainly due to minority stress.
Chicago Grindr user Derrick Anderson commented, "The issue with drugs has been a gay community plague since the '80s, but in the modern era, you don't need a guy who knows a guy. All you need to do is open up your app and look for that capital 'T.'" Capital "T" is an abbreviation for Tina, which is the street name for meth or methamphetamine.
While the dating app has made efforts in the past to inhibit illegal drug sales, Grindr still remains a hotbed for soliciting drugs. Dealers tend to use allusive terms on their profiles to indicate what product they are selling, sometimes using the acronym PNP to indicate that they are looking to "parTy and play," which entails a combination of drug use and sex.
McCabe, who also uses the app himself, said, "I think it's gotten worse in the past couple of years."
Another Grindr user, identifying himself only as George for safety purposes, claims that the number of profiles that mention either buying or selling drugs have increased exponentially. "Drugs were always sprinkled throughout the app, but now it's nothing like before," George said. "Of course drug sales are happening on other dating apps, but at a fraction."
While there are many other gay or even straight dating apps that dealers could potentially use, Mike claims he specifically uses Grindr to sell drugs because "there's no such thing as censorship" on the app, adding, "I can post whatever I want."
"I had my profile flagged twice," he said, " but nothing ever happened."