Matthew Herrick's case against Grindr — which charged the hook-up app held responsibility for Herrick's former partner creating fake profiles that directed hundreds of men to his home and office — was dismissed on Thursday by a federal judge in New York.
Herrick's ex allegedly created Grindr profiles with Herrick's image, advertising a desire for fetishistic sex, bondage, role playing, and rape fantasies. Hundreds showed up at his apartment and workplace; many were angry when they were turned away and a fight even broke out between one Grindr user and Herrick’s roommate. It's not clear what actions Herrick plans to take against his former partner.
Herrick claims he was forced to contact Grindr more than 50 times to remove the fake profiles and said the West Hollywood-based company lacks the technology to effectively combat such abusive actions. In contrast, Herrick claims he contacted Scruff with the same complaints and they quickly took action and banned his ex's IP address from their app.
U.S. District Judge Valerie Caproni was unconvinced that Grindr held responsibility over their user's actions — something widely expected from legal watchers, considering a widely-referenced 1996 law that protects technology companies. Caproni believed Grindr didn't misrepresent their actions on their terms of service page, which claims they have a right to remove illicit content but doesn't promise to.
“While the creation of the impersonating profiles may be sufficiently extreme and outrageous, Grindr did not create the profiles,” Caproni wrote in her ruling, according to Courthouse News.
Herrick's lawyers expressed a willingness to appeal the ruling.