A new AIDS Healthcare Foundation billboard in L.A.’s West Hollywood neighborhood suggests that using the popular dating apps Tinder and Grindr is akin to hooking up with anthropomorphized manifestations of chlamydia and gonorrhea, the L.A. Times reports. As it turns out, the companies that make the apps are not pleased with the comparison, and Tinder specifically has asked that the billboard be taken down:
“These unprovoked and wholly unsubstantiated accusations are made to irreparably damage Tinder’s reputation in an attempt to encourage others to take an HIV test by your organization,” Tinder attorney Jonathan Reichman said in a letter to the foundation.
The foundation responded that it would not remove the billboard.
The AHF also said in a press release that Grindr has responded to the billboard by pulling the AHF ads that appeared on Grindr’s site. The press release defends the Tinder-venereal disease link on dubious grounds, citing a Vanity Fair article about “hookup culture” and a Rhode Island Department of Health statement which vaguely attributes a rise in STD cases to “social media.”
Is using Tinder to arrange casual sexual encounters basically like jumping naked into a giant vat of chlamydia? There’s only one way to find out!