Nude profile dating
The next day brought just as many, all of whom referred to the same spoofed account.Herrick reported the fake profile to Grindr, but the impersonations only multiplied.
"It’s cheaper for them not to staff a department that addresses complaints and abuses of the product."One reason for Grindr's unresponsiveness, in fact, may be that it isn't actually legally liable for the ordeal Herrick has experienced, says Ashley Kissinger, a media defense attorney with Levine, Sullivan, Koch and Schulz LLP.Herrick was smoking a cigarette in front of his West Harlem brownstone when the first visitor appeared.As Herrick tells it, the man innocently pressed the buzzer for Herrick's apartment."A malicious user is just running amok using their product as a weapon," says Goldberg."Grindr can control that, and they’re not."Grindr did not respond to WIRED's requests for comment.Then he asked matter-of-factly if Herrick was the one who'd been communicating with him via the hookup app Grindr, and who'd minutes earlier invited him over for sex.
Herrick said that he hadn't—he hadn't even looked at the app in a week—and asked how the stranger even knew his name.
"It’s just luck that it hasn’t happened yet."Herrick's civil complaint points to an ex-boyfriend as the source of the impersonation attacks.
(WIRED has chosen not to identify him as he's not named as a defendant in the complaint.) He allegedly began impersonating Herrick on Grindr even before their breakup earlier this year, but only started using the spoofed accounts to harass him after they separated.
On one day earlier this month, six men seeking sex came to the restaurant where Herrick works in just a four-minute span.
And Herrick says the person controlling the fake profiles will often tell the visitors Herrick will "say no when he means yes," or that he'd sent them away only to hide them from his jealous roommate, and that they should return."They were setting him up to be sexually assaulted," says Herrick's attorney Carrie Goldberg.
The complaint states that the ex "would manipulate the geo-physical settings" of the app—a simple enough hack using GPS-spoofing apps for Android or jailbroken i Phones—to make fake accounts appear to be located at Herrick's home or work.