Saudi Arabia jails gay man for 1 year, $26k fine, for cruising gay social networks on cell phone

Published: November 11, 2014

America blog
John Aravosis
Original Article:

Saudi Arabia has just sent a gay man to jail for one year, and included a $26,000 fine, for the “crime” of cruising for sex on gay social networks on his mobile phone.

I’d reported previously on the problem a number of gay phone apps, most notably Grindr and Jack’d, pose for gay men in less-than-friendly locales, but also in the US and western Europe as well. In fact, AMERICAblog, with the help of an anonymous gay European social networking user, broke these stories.
The story from Gulf News, translated from Sabq Online Newspaper,  does not indicate which social networking app the man was using.

The problem many of these gay meet-up apps pose is that they disclose the near-exact location of gay men in those regions to anyone, including their local anti-gay governments. And while many less-informed gay men think that this is what the apps are supposed to do, that is not the case. The apps are supposed to broadcast your relative distance from another user — for example, indicating that you are 2 miles away from, or 1,000 feet. The app is not supposed to show other users, or government officials, exactly what block you live on and where.

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