Hook-up apps are becoming the battle ground between free speech and just hateful vitriol.
Editors Note: Some of the language used in the screenshots at left are of a mature nature.Also SDGLN cannot confirm that the man in the photo at left is actually making the remarks reported.
WISCONSIN - A man who responded to a dating app user got a screen-ful of hate after he rejected his offer to hook up.
Wisconsin-based Shia M Rodriguez (AKA Jesse) says a man known by the screen name “west bend” reached out to him on social media saying he was “horny.”
Not interested, Shia says he rejected his offer. When he did, things turned ugly as “west bend” started filling the conversation bubbles with racist, bigoted hate speech. He then began a personal tirade against Shia calling him “ugly” and using expletives.
“Dude you’re ugly as f*ck. Sorry man.” He also calls Shia a "fa**ot."
Not intimidated by the remarks Shia then responds to the other man whose profile says he is 37 and in an open relationship.
“Your words don’t hurt. Your hypocrisy is ridiculous. Clearly you in such a happy relationship that you have to find people outside yours.”
“West end” then turns ugly and begins to attack Shia’s ethnicity. “Go home,” he writes. Shia says he is home.
“I’m sick of paying for your people’s sh*t.” writes "west end."
Shia then defends himself by saying he was born in America, and has Puerto Rican heritage but points out that Puerto Rico is still a U.S territory.
“Yes it’s our country. Get the f*ck out. Don’t take our resources,” responds "west end."
San Diego Gay and Lesbian News reached out to Shia and he says this particular man terrorizes others as well, but this level of repartee is the worst it’s been.
“Basically in the past he will tell me he's horny ask for pics then insult me,” Shia told us via PM. “Lather, rinse repeat. This time I just didn't care.”
He adds that once “west end” got word that Shia was going to share the entire correspondence on Facebook, the user said he should be the next to die on Facebook Live.
It seems this type of bullying is increasing among dating app users. Normally a rejection would mean that the other person would move on. But some who use the services use that as a jumping-off point for hateful vitriol.
In January, Hillcrest had its own problems with a hook-up app profile. The user known as "Hung Top" was so aggressive that one user took him to court and got a restraining order.
The problem also might be that it's harder to prove that the person in the profile photo is actually the one doing the bullying. Nowadays it is easy to grab a picture from someone else's media feed and use it as your own.
In the case of Hung Top, several people had encounters with him and inundated SDGLN with personal testimony and confirmation of his identity.
Even in Shia's case, SDGLN must disclaim that we cannot confirm that the man in the profile picture is actually "west bend."
But Shia is certain that it is. He says several people have commented in is feed after he posted screenshots of the interaction to say they have also run into him and experienced the same things.
"If you go through my comments other people will verify that this is his personality," said Shia. "In and out of public."
According to Scruff's member support page, they encourage others who feel threatened to report the party in question. It only takes three reports of abuse for the administration team to investigate the claims. If they find that the person is indeed in violation of the rules and regulations, they may suspend that person permanently:
We encourage all members of our community to flag a profile that is perceived to be in violation of our profile guidelines. A support ticket should only be submitted to report serious violations (e.g. underage members, threats or other incidents of abusive/harassing behavior, impersonation).
When a profile has accumulated three or more flags (by different members)-- or if it has been reviewed by a SCRUFF admin and found to be in violation of our Profile Guidelines or Terms of Service-- it will be flagged out and all access to SCRUFF will be suspended.
If your profile has been suspended for a guidelines violation, you should contact SCRUFF Support to request a review of your profile. While profile suspensions may be appealed, we reserve the right to review each request on a case-by-case basis.
REPEAT VIOLATIONS ARE SUBJECT TO PERMANENT SUSPENSION OF YOUR PROFILE AND DEVICE FROM SCRUFF.