Grindr Tells Users to Stop Using Holocaust Memorial in Their Profiles After It Becomes a Trend

Apparently, attracting an online hook-up with a sexy profile photo taken with the asphalt slabs of Berlin's Holocaust Memorial as a backdrop is a thing, and now Grindr is distancing itself from the phenomenon after its founder previously appeared to endorse it, Salon reports:

Memorial_grindrIn the site’s early going, the proprietors bragged that the CEO of Grindr, Joel Simkhai, seemingly endorsed Totem and Taboo. “As a Jew and an Israeli, I’m deeply moved by how users are coming together as a community on Grindr to share and inspire others take part in memory of the Holocaust,” Simkhai told an Israeli newswire. But on Monday, Grindr press representatives told Salon: “Back in 2011, when Grindr was first made aware that a few users were posting an image of Berlin’s Holocaust Memorial in their profile, we observed that the user initiative was a novel form of expression.

“What started as users expressing themselves on a topic not often discussed in social networking profiles, has now become disrespectful.  We strongly encourage our users to engage in a respectful manner and honor the memory of those who perished in others ways outside of the app.”

The founders of Totem and Taboo, the site which has been aggregating the Grindr photos, say they are "proliferating": “We don’t really know what makes people pose there, and we’re not dealing with questions of intentionality in our project. We’re focusing on making the phenomenon visible.”

Grindr’s odd Holocaust fetish [salon]


  1. peterparker says

    Halle-f*cking-lujah!! After visiting The Memorial To The Murdered Jews Of Europe in Berlin a few years ago, I began to notice people using pics of themselves taken at the site in their online hookup profiles. Can you be any more stupid or insensitive?! Good on Grindr for trying to put a stop to it!

  2. Fensox says

    Please stop using Grindr.

    One, a company shouldn’t police photos like this. I find it offensive that they don’t allow nudity (I mean I guess Apple is the one who wont allow it.)

    The personal views of one guy are dictating the actions of many end users, not cool.

    Unfortunately the thing in question is VERY repellant, I mean who are these guys? Why is it at all turn on to put these images together? I seriously hope someone can help these clearly deranged people.

    I like guyspy, cool creators, allows a very smart approach to nudes, better interface.

    Grindr is the essence of the conformity problem that our group/people/movement will always struggle with, conform to the straights or rebel from them. Both options are always so unfortunately tied to straight people, but hey we got a ton of awesome art and culture from it!

  3. David in NYC says

    These guys are all trashbaskets.

    But on a unrelated note – Grindr is soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo boring now. They really need to do something about the novelty of getting a bunch of “Hey how’s your night?” messages from bored neighbors wearing off.

  4. James says

    When I went to the memorial, I was saddened by the fact that it did not mention the many gay people murdered during the Holocaust, as it did mention several other groups who were subject to the genocide. Gay people are usually always overlooked in Holocaust rememberances. Obviously the main focus is on the murder of Jews, and that is obviously a worthwhile remembrance. Typically included in remembrances are also people with developmental disabities and ethnic minorities like the Roma and Africans. Rarely are queer people mentioned.

    So, in a way, I think its gross to use a somber and serious thing for your grindr picture, but Im not going to be outraged.

  5. NIgel says

    Well just maybe these folks are taking pictures at the memorial to state that LGBT people were killed in the holocaust and that LGBT people still exist. Think of it as art, and let your mind consider the possibilities of why they posed there, but like all art if you don’t understand it don’t get outraged just move to the next picture in the exhibit.

  6. NIgel says

    another point to consider, when the concentration camps where liberated and the liberators learned what the pink triangles meant, they took many of the LGBT survivors to prison for the crime of homosexuality.

  7. molly says

    Gay men are so vapid and disgusting…No wonder teenage gay boys would rather be dead…ugh! I hope the find a genetic cure and save future generations from such disgusting and empty lives. IMHO!

  8. says

    @Nigel, I’d buy that as a rationale if the pictures weren’t on Grindr and the men weren’t shirtless. To me, it’s utterly disrespectful, and I like both art and shirtless men.

  9. ratbastard says

    I SERIOUSLY doubt anything to do with white supremacist, neo-nazis had anything to do with this decision or why some fools use it as a backdrop on site that’s about getting laid.

    Yes, it’s OBVIOUSLY in bad taste. And I bet more than a few of those posters are Jewish themselves. Humans can do strange things.

    On a side note, MANY people were killed in WW2, at least 80 million or more. And the Nazis murdered in cold blood MANY people beside Jewish people, including heterosexual Christians. Obviously, the vast majority of those who died fighting to end Nazi Germany were not Jewish or of any particular minority group like Roma. People should remember this.

    And a memorial to the many millions murdered by the Marxist Bolshvek Communist in Russia and elsewhere [including that evil pr*ck Mao and his cultural revolution] is long overdue. Yes, the USSR was arguably primarily responsible for bringing the Nazis to their knees, unfortunately they also murdered in their own right as many, actually even more, than the 11+ year Nazi Germany. It irritates no end how many self described leftist talk endlessly about Nazis and fascist [and YES, they were evil incarnate] but often remain silent when it comes to the leftist version of extremism: Marxism/Communism. And yes, the Marxist and Communist persecuted homosexuals.

  10. MikeH says

    I don’t see anything wrong with it at all. It’s a photogenic place and a work of great art. Would I have done it, probably not… but I’m not offended by it… no more than I would be offended of people taking grindr photos at the Vietnam War memorial, the Washington or Lincoln monuments or Hoover Dam for pete’s sake. If people are so offended at HOW photos could be used then they should ban ALL photos from being taken there. I think this has more to do with the fact people think subconsciously that there is something wrong with gay people cruising… that it is nasty or dirty or something. I don’t view it as disrespectful and in a strange way it is instead bringing more attention to the Holocaust. Everyone needs to take a chill pill and stop feigning outrage. What are we, Fox News?

  11. Billy Crytical says

    That Holocaust memorial is in Berlin right in front of the US embassy. ONLY Jews are remembered at the memorial. That Jewish “we are exceptional” mindset is in full force in the creation of this Jewish only memorial.

  12. Ulu says

    @Molly the blood of gay teen suicides is on hands like yours.

    The monument is visually striking especially when contrasted by human form, particularly a half naked form. Some people really don’t think about symbolism or ethical ramifications, they’re just into aesthetics for better or worse (think of wearing fur, for example).

  13. Jack says

    Grindr is a platform for loveless, meaningless sex. The people who use it are advertising their own inferiority. I can date a smoker or even a drug user. But I wouldn’t consider dating a Grindr user.

  14. Billy says

    “Grindr is a platform for loveless, meaningless sex. The people who use it are advertising their own inferiority. I can date a smoker or even a drug user. But I wouldn’t consider dating a Grindr user.”

    lmao. Nice to know drug addicts are more loveable than, in your eyes, a sex addict. Someone needs to reprioritize. Especially since you’re judging people you’ve never interacted with. I use Grindr (and mostly Growlr) and I’ve had nothing but dates. Real, honest, sexless first dates. Some of which went nowhere, some of which led to a lot more. Because guess what — the apps are just like any other dating medium. They are what YOU make of them. So if you go there just looking to talk or have dates? You’re gonna find some guys who like that. If you don’t go there and assume everyone’s shallow and vapid? You’re ignorant.

  15. George says

    The Picture isn’t from the Grindr-App but from the Planetromeo-App.
    Much more popular in Germany, but also with many disrespectfull “Memorial-Models”

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