‘Grindr is in shambles right now’: Texas passes law banning unsolicited nudes

An iPhone screen showing the Grindr icon

Texas has passed a new law banning the sharing of unsolicited nude photos, which could have consequences for gay dating app users.

The new law makes sharing sexually explicit materials electronically a class C misdemeanour, punishable by a fine of up to $500.

Unusually, lawmakers collaborated with the dating app Bumble on the crack-down, with house representative Morgan Meyer working closely with the Dallas-based company.

“They had a number of people who were using the app complaining about the sending of these images and they quickly realised there was no recourse,” Meyer told Fox 4 News.

It was definitely digital sexual harassment.

“There was nothing that could be done. It wasn’t a criminal offence – although it was definitely digital sexual harassment.”

The ban came into effect on Saturday, August 31, and applies to nude photos sent over text messages, email, dating apps and social media.

Texas nude photos ban divides gay community.

On Reddit, one user suggested that the law had left Grindr “in shambles right now”.

“My first impressions are that this is a law passed by a bunch of old men who think they’re doing a good thing, but in reality you can’t really call every nude sent unsolicited just because the receiving party didn’t say ‘send me a d*** pic’,” they explained.

“On the bright side, maybe it’ll stop those people who send close up anus pics as the first message.”

Another user countered: “Honestly, this is a good thing. Grindr has an option for saying if you want NSFW pic or not. When people are a**holes and send unsolicited NSFW pics, them getting punished for it is completely deserved.”

A lawyer has suggested that regardless of intention, the ban could be difficult to enforce.

“It reaches things that arguably could cover images related to medical advice or moms sharing information about breastfeeding or their babies’ health – things like that which certainly can’t be criminalised,” attorney JT Morris said.

Bumble, which plans to take the law to the federal level, told Fox 4 News it understands enforcement will be a challenge, but hopes that it serves as a deterrent.