Federal Court Rules Grindr Not Liable For Impersonating Profiles That Sent Over 1000 Men To Victim’s Home

Courthouse News reports:

A federal judge dismissed a 14-count lawsuit against Grindr on Thursday, finding that that the hook-up app for gay men is not liable for the malicious harassment wrought by an ex-boyfriend’s fake profile. U.S. District Judge Valerie Caproni dismissed with prejudice all claims but one for copyright infringement, which she dismissed without prejudice.

Matthew Herrick blamed Grinder for malicious harassment after a former boyfriend posted fake profiles on the site, “which describe Herrick as being interested in fetishistic sex, bondage, role playing, and rape fantasies and which encourage potential suitors to go to Herrick’s home or workplace for sex,” Caproni wrote in her case summary.

The gist of his 14 claims was that Grindr was defectively designed and manufactured because it has no built-in safety features; that it misled Herrick into believing that it could protect him from impersonating profiles; and that it wrongfully refused to search for and remove the impersonations, Caproni wrote.

Unfortunately for Herrick, the judge concluded, “while the creation of the impersonating profiles may be sufficiently extreme and outrageous, Grindr did not create the profiles.” She agreed with Grindr that Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 “immunizes Grindr for content created by others.”

Herrick claims that he only got automated responses to “more than 100” pleas that Grindr delete and block the impersonation profiles created by his ex. He also says that the fake profiles falsely described him as HIV+ and that the “over 1000 men” who appeared at his door had been told that if he told them to go away, that was just part of the fantasy.