Grindr, the gay hook-up app headquartered in West Hollywood, has asked a federal court judge to dismiss a lawsuit brought by a New York man who says more than 1,000 men have pursued him for sometimes violent sex in response to a fake profile posted on Grindr by his former boyfriend.
Grindr filed the request in a Manhattan court on Wednesday. Its lawyer argued that the mobile sex app, which claims to be the most heavily trafficked gay sex app in the world, is protected under the Communications Decency Act. That law, passed in 1996 in an effort to protect children from online pornography, was amended later to bar claims against websites or other digital media whose content is provided by third parties. In effect, it declares that Grindr is simply the provider of a service and that it has no responsibility for the content posted by its members.
The lawsuit was filed earlier this year by Matthew Herrick, a restaurant worker, actor and model, who said the fake Grindr profile identified him as someone with violent fantasies and an interest in bondage and bareback sex. The profile also falsely described Herrick as being HIV positive. Herrick said men not only approached him on the app but also visited his home and the restaurant where he worked, with some believing that he wanted to be raped. Herrick said he
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