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Indonesian police said on Friday they want a ban on gay dating apps in the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country after a paedophile ring allegedly used popular service Grindr to pimp boys.
It was the latest move by Indonesian authorities against homosexuals, who have faced a sudden backlash this year, with the government recently declaring there is “no room” in the country for the gay community in response to criticism from activists.
Despite a national law banning same-sex intercourse, tens of thousands of gay Indians use Grindr for social networking, dating and, yes, sex.
As in many other Asian countries where homosexuality is outlawed or taboo, Grindr and similar apps have opened up a new digital frontier for gays but also raised concerns about privacy, safety and government clampdowns.
Within the quietly thriving gay scene in India’s entertainment and financial capital, one thing appears to be common.“Everybody from the gay community is using Grindr,” Inder Vhatwar, a Mumbai fashion entrepreneur, said of the dating app geared toward gay men.Grindr’s international appeal is in the spotlight following the announcement Monday that a Chinese gaming company had purchased a majority stake the Hollywood start-up for million.