Feed aggregator

Why There Needs to be More Disability Representation in Comic Books

First Comics News - Sat, 12/18/2021 - 07:21

Disability representation is something that needs to be considered for all types of media content, but how much recognition is it given within existing comic books? Find out, here…

2021 has been a promising year for the comic books market. This isn’t all that surprising, given the number of comic-based movies and franchises launching in recent years. However, many believe recent successes can, in part, be put down to the two largest comic companies making an effort to be inclusive and representative.

From Ms. Marvel to DC Comics’ Naomi, the conscious effort from major players in the industry to improve the representation of previously under-served groups is clear. That being said, when it comes to disability representation, there’s certainly room for improvement.

Not all heroes wear capes and not all heroes are able-bodied, something which we are often led to believe. We have seen a number of superheroes, villains, and other comic book characters living with various types of disabilities. Some characters are born with these disabilities and others develop them from various life experiences (could a medical negligence claim be on the cards for Wolverine?).

The question is, what are comic books doing right, and where could disability representation be improved in the industry?

What is Disability Representation and Why Does it Matter?

Disability representation refers to the active and accurate inclusion and portrayal of disabled individuals across media platforms. Those who campaign for proper disability representation in the media request that:

  • The correct number/ratio of disabled individuals to able-bodied individuals is portrayed. According to Scope, there are over 14 million disabled people in the UK. Around 1 billion people worldwide are living with some form of disability (from the World Health Organisation).
  • Various types of disabilities are represented – including both physical and mental disabilities.
  • A diverse range of actors and other presenters are seen to represent disabilities in the media.
  • Disabilities and their signs, symptoms, and limitations are thoroughly researched ahead of representation.
  • Characters with a disability are well-rounded and not solely developed with their disability in mind.

While a study from Nielson found that disability representation in the media has risen 175% in the last 10 years, other statistics show there’s still a way to go. Looking specifically at the world of comic books, disability representation is clear to see, but where can improvements be made?

Are There Superheroes with Disabilities?

When you hear the word ‘superhero’, you wouldn’t be the only person whose mind instantly jumps to the likes of Superman, Batman, or Spider-Man. This is partly down to the media and its exaggerated promotion of these superhero ideals.

For many years now, comic books have been telling the stories of various disabled superhumans and their heroic efforts in saving the world from villains. Here are just a select few of these heroic characters that we can certainly look up to.

  1. Daredevil: visually impaired, with superhuman reflexes and endurance.
  2. Oracle: formerly Batgirl, until shot in the spine by the Joker and paralyzed from the waist down.
  3. Doctor Strange: a car accident and extensive nerve damage led to Doctor Strange finding their magical abilities.
  4. Deadpool: lives with cancer and chronic pain, with an accelerated healing ability.
  5. Professor X: the most well-known disabled superhero with a whole host of mental superpowers (including telepathy and mental manipulation).
  6. Echo: one of the very few deaf superheroes, possessing photography reflexes.
  7. Iron Man: uses technology to cope with physical and mental disabilities.
How Can Disability Representation in Comic Books be Improved?

While it’s clear to see that comic books have been representing disabilities to a certain extent, there are many open debates and discussions on where improvements can be made. Some ideas include:

1. Avoid utilizing disability as a motive for villainous behavior

Many argue that comic books often place blame on a character’s disability being the reason for them turning into a villain.

Let’s take Harvey Dent, for example. When half of his face is burned by acid and he becomes known as Two-Face, that’s when his villainous behavior begins.

Then there’s Ava Starr, AKA Ghost, who suffers from lifelong chronic pain as a result of an accident when she was a child. S.H.I.E.L.D. promises to help her find a cure in exchange for utilizing her powers. Her character development as a villain begins when she realizes the organization was never going to honor its promise.

There are many examples in comic books where both mental and physical disabilities are considered the cause of a character’s turning into a villain. With many young individuals easily influenced by their love of comic books, this is certainly an issue that needs to be addressed.

2. Fully exploring disabilities

Those campaigning for improved disability representation within comic books call out for a more in-depth portrayal and exploration of disabilities.

All too often, we are presented with a character whose certain disability is the root cause of their superpower (or their villainous behavior). From there, the story continues with much more emphasis on the superpower as opposed to the disability. What would improve disability representation is further exploration of the disability itself.

This could involve delving into the more complex details of the disability. It could be observing the frustrations the character faces as a result of their disability. It could be the moment of acceptance or the moment where they realize their disability doesn’t necessarily have to be a hindrance.

Through further exploration of the disability itself, readers could develop more of an understanding of these differences that they can then apply to everyday life. This theory applies to both those living with their disabilities and those looking to learn more about a disability’s complexities.

3. Cover varying degrees of disabilities

While multiple individuals may have the same disability, they may not experience the same level of symptoms. In comic books, we are typically led to believe that disabled characters suffer from one degree of disability: blind characters cannot see; deaf characters cannot hear. In real life, disabilities are much more complex than the stereotypes we often place on them.

With that in mind, future disability representation in comic books would greatly benefit from the inclusion of a spectrum of specific disabilities.

4. Consultation with disabled individuals

When it comes to developing a storyline involving a disability, it makes complete sense to seek the knowledge and expertise of those living with them. Consider reaching out to various individuals, including everyday people, or even expert writers, actors, producers, and directors.

No one has a better understanding of what it is like to live with a disability than those actively living with one. Using real-life words and experiences, character and story development can be turned into something that is not only meant for entertainment, but for awareness and understanding too.

Do Comic Books Need More Disability Representation?

It goes without saying that disability representation is certainly considered in the world of comic books, perhaps more so than in some other forms of media. That being said, nothing is perfect and there is always room to grow.

Perhaps discussions like this here will help the world of comic books to advance the recognition and representation it gives to those living with disabilities.





Categories: Comic Book Blogs

THE HARBINGER #3 preview

First Comics News - Sat, 12/18/2021 - 06:48

Cover by Adam Pollina

December 17th, 2021 — Peter Stanchek suits up for his mission to “BE BETTER” in THE HARBINGER #3.

As he comes to terms with losing all of his memories, Peter Stanchek chooses to fight back, not just for himself but all of Psiot City who has been oppressed by a legal force known as The Warning. Wearing a brand-new mask and wielding a revelatory new understanding of his own powerful potentials, Peter takes on the mantle of The Harbinger to pave the way for the future of all psiots. But will he start something so dangerous even he can’t stop?

THE HARBINGER #3 is co-written by COLLIN KELLY and JACKSON LANZING (Kang The Conqueror, Batman Beyond: Neo Year), features art by ROBBI RODRIGUEZ (Spider-GwenBatgirl), colors by RICO RENZI (Mister Miracle: The Source of FreedomThe Unbeatable Squirrel Girl), letters by HASSAN OTSMANE-ELHAOU (X-O MANOWAR, The Blue Flame), and covers by ROBBI RODRIGUEZ, ADAM POLLINA and DAMION SCOTT.

Written by 
Colors by RICO RENZI
Pre-order Connecting Cover by DAMION SCOTT

A daring rescue mission unravels the mystery of Peter Stanchek’s past… and paves the way for the powerful psiot’s future.

On sale DECEMBER 22nd | 32 pages, full color | $3.99 US | T+

Categories: Comic Book Blogs


First Comics News - Sat, 12/18/2021 - 06:40

Collects the Comic Series Dragon Age: Deception, Dragon Age: Blue Wraith, and Dragon Age: Dark Fortress

MILWAUKIE, Ore., (December 17, 2021)—BioWare and Dark Horse Comics present the Dragon Age trilogy that pits Fenris and the Inquisition against the Venatori for the fate of Thedas, now collected in a deluxe oversized hardcover in Dragon Age: Wraiths of Tevinter.      


When a red lyrium artifact of devastating power surfaces in the Tevinter Imperium, the Inquisition mobilizes knight Ser Aaron Hawthorne, elven thief Vaea, and magekillers Tessa Forsythia and Marius to retrieve it. Along the way, they will acquire a fledgling con artist and a troubled mage as allies, as well as Fenris, the legendary Blue Wraith. But the Venatori have mobilized forces of their own, and it will take cunning, bravery, and sacrifice to stop their dark intentions from being realized.


Dragon Age: Wraiths of Tevinter hardcover will be in comic shops August 23, 2022 and will retail for $39.99. It is available for pre-order on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and at your local comic shop and bookstore.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs


First Comics News - Sat, 12/18/2021 - 06:37

MILWAUKIE, Ore., (December 17, 2021)—Dark Horse Direct and Netflix have teamed up and are proud to present The Witcher: Geralt vs. Kikimora Statue!


Relive the iconic moments of the opening scene from the Netflix Original Series The Witcher as Geralt and the kikimora burst from the bog in a tangle of swords and limbs. Reaching 8.5 inches tall and 14 inches long, sinew and viscera abound as you immerse yourself in the intricate details of this incredible collectible.


Expertly crafted by Gentle Giant Studios, the statue comes complete with a hand-numbered base, certificate of authenticity, and will be limited to just 750 units. This intricately designed statue is priced at $299.99 and set to ship to customers sometime between August to November 2022.


Pre-order to collect on this bounty today on Direct.Darkhorse.com before it’s too late!

Categories: Comic Book Blogs


First Comics News - Sat, 12/18/2021 - 06:36

< Issue Includes New Stories From ‘Stranger Things’ and ‘Resident Alien’

MILWAUKIE, Ore., (December 17, 2021)—In partnership with Diamond Distributors, Dark Horse Comics is pleased to announce the Free Comic Book Day Gold Issue: Stranger Things/Resident Alien, arriving May 7, 2022 at your local comic shop.

The Dark Horse Free Comic Book Day Gold issue will include two short stories from two otherworldly series: Stranger Things and Resident Alien!


In Stranger Things, Eleven, Will and Jonathan go to a Drive-In Theater for a Double Creature Feature, but the local festivities and scary costumes bring back haunting memories.


In Resident Alien, Dr. Harry and nurse Asta help an elderly patient in the sleepy, small town of Patience investigate a ghostly presence in her house!

The Stranger Things short story is penned by Michael Moreci, illustrated by Pius Bak, and colored by Dan Jackson. The Resident Alien short story is written by Peter Hogan, illustrated and lettered by Steve Parkhouse. The cover features Stranger Things artwork by Diego Galindo.


Be sure to pick up this Free Comic Book Day issue ahead of the 2022 premiere of Stranger Things season 4 and Resident Alien season 2.

Free Comic Book Day 2022 takes place May 7, 2022. Check with your local comic shop to see if they are participating!

Categories: Comic Book Blogs


First Comics News - Sat, 12/18/2021 - 06:33

‘Beastlands: Keepers of the Kingdom’ to be Published in June 2022

MILWAUKIE, Ore., (December 17, 2021)—In a medieval fantasy world filled with powerful companion creatures known as “keepers,” one boy and his friends are on a quest to find his missing father. Beastlands: Keepers of the Kingdom, from Curtis Clow, writer of The Wild Cosmos, and Jo mi-Gyeong, powerhouse artist of Eve and The Dark Crystal, with letters from Toben Racicot (The Signal), is the heartfelt fantasy adventure you’ve been waiting for!      


Tensions rise as the angsty teens run out of clues and face unexpected peril at every turn. A grieving tyrant has outlawed keepers from the land and sent his murderous soldiers to exterminate every one of the beasts they can find. Mac, Ava, and Ping will have their friendship tested as they struggle, tooth and claw, to save each other and as many keepers as they can.


Beastlands: Keepers of the Kingdom trade paperback will be in available everywhere books are sold June 28, 2022. It is available for pre-order on AmazonBarnes & Noble, and at your local comic shop and bookstoreBeastlands: Keepers of the Kingdom will retail for $19.99.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs


First Comics News - Sat, 12/18/2021 - 06:31

December 16th, 2021 — Explore the Valiant Universe on Free Comic Book Day 2022.

Arriving on May 7th, THE YEAR OF VALIANT 2022 FCBD SPECIAL will present new content featuring exciting original stories, insightful behind-the-scenes looks at upcoming comics, in-depth interviews with Valiant creators, and exclusive teasers for fan-favorite characters. The compelling tales starring flagship characters will reward longtime Valiant fans while also serving as easily accessible jumping-on points for new readers.

Cover by Dexter Soy & Veronica Gandini


  • An all-new BLOODSHOT story from Ringo Award-nominated writer Deniz Camp and acclaimed artist Jon Davis-Hunt. It’s a brutal brawl between living weapons as the nanite-infused supersoldier stands alone against a terrifying foe in a small town. Only Bloodshot can stop the twisted creation from unleashing more bloodshed and devastation on the neglected part of the country.
  • The fan-favorite duo of ARCHER & ARMSTRONG go on a brand-new adventure! Written by the Eisner-nominated Steve Foxe and featuring art by rising star Marcio Fiorito, the young and optimistic Archer drags the care-free, hard-drinking and immortal Armstrong on a quest that leads them right into the base of an eldritch cult.
  • The award-winning creative team of Jeff Parker and Mike Norton present an action-packed ride starring NINJAK. In this thrilling original tale, a pair of tech-savvy hitmen set their sights on the superspy in an effort to collect the enormous bounty that is on his head.
  • Plus: Exclusive first looks at the future of Valiant’s iconic characters, including SHADOWMAN and X-O MANOWAR!

Celebrate Free Comic Book Day 2022 at your local comic shop on Saturday, May 7th, 2022. For more information on FCBD 2022, visit https://www.freecomicbookday.com/ and to find a comic shop near you go to https://www.comicshoplocator.com/.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Vampirella Lives as an NFT! Plus Fourth Issue of 50th Anniversary Series Drops

First Comics News - Sat, 12/18/2021 - 06:25

December 17, Mt. Laurel, NJ: A duo of Vampirella cold hard classics drop today as NFTs via Terra Virtua, in partnership with Dynamite Entertainment.

The 1990s was a wild time in comic books. Many characters reached spectacular highs and turbulent lows within the same decade. Some even died! Or got their backs broken. Or wore leather jackets. Vampirella’s own flirtation with leather jackets began in that time, through her celebrated original Vengeance of Vampirella run. Which culminated in the reveal of a new archnemesis – Nyx! Whose latest solo comics are also on Terra Virtua as NFTs, by the way. In 1996’s climactic Death & Destruction event, Nyx pierced through the heart of Vampirella and killed her. But death can’t keep a good alien vampire heroine down! Writer Warren Ellis and artist Amanda Conner charted the character’s revival in Vampirella Lives. That memorable miniseries serves as the centerpiece of Masters Series Vol. 3, available now in NFT format!

Alongside that release, fans can flash forward nearly to the present, as the fabulous fourth issue of her 50th anniversary title drops as well. With writing by legendary Christopher Priest and a drop dead gorgeous cover by superstar Stanley “Artgerm” Lau, this can’t be missed. The stunning piece of art that fronts the issue was originally produced as a limited edition print for Sideshow Collectibles, then made its way to comics. Find out more as the “Seduction of the Innocent” arc continues!

These limited-edition digital collectibles are available to purchase on Terra Virtua here:

Categories: Comic Book Blogs


First Comics News - Sat, 12/18/2021 - 06:23

PORTLAND, Ore. 12/17/2021 — Bestselling creative team Kurt Busiek, Brent Anderson, Alex Ross, Alex Sinclair, and Comicraft team up for the return of Astro City in an all-new special out from Image Comics this March—the Astro City: That Was Then… one-shot.

And a host of top Image creators welcome the series back to Image—where it all began—with a stunning lineup of variant covers by Erik Larsen, Marcelo Costa, Leandro Fernández, Jamie McKelvie, Chip Zdarsky, and Rob Guillory.

These highly collectable covers bring Astro City characters together with popular classic and current Image Comics series, including Savage Dragon and Samaritan, Radiant Black and the Confessor, The Old Guard and Cleopatra, Beautie in full The Wicked + The Divine style, Quarrel and Crackerjack in a Sex Criminals homage, and Tony Chu and the First Family’s Rex in a Chew-style trip to Beefy Bob’s.

Astro City: That Was Then… features new and existing heroes and launches a mystery that will drive the forthcoming Astro City series. Who were the Jayhawks? How did they inspire five teen sidekicks looking for answers to hit the road in a rickety crime mobile in 1969? And how will this affect Astro City in the present? It all begins here. And don’t miss the Astro City Metrobook, collecting the first three years of the acclaimed series!

The Astro City: That Was Then… one-shot will be available at comic book shops on Wednesday, March 30.

Astro City: That Was Then… will also be available for purchase across many digital platforms, including Amazon Kindle, Apple Books, and Google Play.

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Omega Rangers Retreat to Safehaven in POWER RANGERS #14

First Comics News - Sat, 12/18/2021 - 06:20

Discover a Dangerous Rescue Mission in the Next Chapter of the ELTARIAN WAR This December 2021

LOS ANGELES, CA (December 17, 2021) – BOOM! Studios, under license by Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAS), revealed a first look at POWER RANGERS #14, from writer Ryan Parrott (Mighty MorphinPower Rangers), artist Francesco Mortarino (Go Go Power Rangers), colorist Raúl Angulo (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), and letterer Ed Dukeshire, in conjunction with the Mighty Morphin series for the epic crossover event, delivering the explosive fourth chapter of the ELTARIAN WAR, in December 2021!

The new Blue Omega Ranger, along with the rest of the Omega Rangers, retreat to Safehaven to plan their next steps. With information gathered from Zordon and the Blue Emissary, our motley crew of heroes and villains set their sights on defeating the minions of their former ally and conducting a rescue mission. But in a galaxy full of enemies, who… or what…  awaits their rescue?

POWER RANGERS #14 features main cover art by acclaimed illustrator Gerald Parel (Symbiote Spider-Man: King in Black), and variant covers by Daniele Di Nicuolo (Seven Secrets) with Walter Baiamonte, Goñi Montes (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers), and Jorge Corona (Star Wars) with Sarah Stern.

Currently, Power Rangers is celebrating 28 continuous years on the air, making it one of the longest-running kids’ live-action series in television history, with nearly 900 episodes aired to date. Created by Haim Saban and launched in 1993 with Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, the franchise celebrates its 28th season, with “Power Rangers Dino Fury”, currently airing on Saturdays at 8 a.m. (ET/PT) on Nickelodeon and streaming on Netflix in the U.S., UK, NZ, AU & CA.

POWER RANGERS is the newest release from BOOM! Studios’ eponymous imprint, home to critically acclaimed original series, including BRZRKR by Keanu Reeves, Matt Kindt, and Ron Garney; We Only Find Them When They’re Dead by Al Ewing and Simone Di Meo; Seven Secrets by Tom Taylor and Daniele Di Nicuolo; Something is Killing the Children by James Tynion IV and Werther Dell’Edera; Once & Future by Kieron Gillen and Dan Mora; Abbott by Saladin Ahmed and Sami Kivelä; Proctor Valley Road by Grant Morrison, Alex Child, and Naomi Franquiz; The Many Deaths of Laila Starr by Ram V and Filipe Andrade; and Eve by Victor LaValle and Jo Mi-Gyeong. The imprint also publishes popular licensed properties, including Dune: House Atreides from Brian Herbert, Kevin J. Anderson, and Dev Pramanik; and Magic from Jed McKay and Ig Guara.

Print copies of POWER RANGERS #14 will be available on December 29, 2021, exclusively at local comic book shops (use comicshoplocator.com to find the one nearest you) or at the BOOM! Studios webstore. Digital copies can be purchased from content providers like comiXology, iBooks, Google Play, and Kindle.

Softcover and hardcover collections of MIGHTY MORPHIN POWER RANGERS and other Power Rangers releases from BOOM! Studios are available now, everywhere books are sold.

For continuing news on the POWER RANGERS series and more from BOOM! Studios, stay tuned to boom-studios.com and follow @boomstudios on Twitter.

For more on Power Rangers, please visit www.powerrangers.com and follow Power Rangers on YouTubeFacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Ryan Parrott

Francesco Mortarino

Categories: Comic Book Blogs

Aftermath & Fallout from The 'Day of the Worm' & I1 Dwellers of the Forbidden City by David Cook from 1981 Amazing Adventures ! Rpg Campaign Update

Swords & Stitchery - Fri, 12/17/2021 - 18:12
 This blog post is going to pick up from this blog post here. What happens to  the ancient Heart of Yhtill after the events of  Amazing Adventures Day of the Worm which are history in our 1980's Pulp game. This adventure is tied into the Amazing Adventures! rpg beginning adventure Heart of Yhtill. This artifact may have slipped into the hands of 'top men' of the US government. But this still Needleshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11243274667834930867noreply@blogger.com0
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Luxe Loops Slippers Tutorial

Moogly - Fri, 12/17/2021 - 16:01

The Luxe Loops Slippers Tutorial will show you how to crochet these cozy booties – in both right and left-handed video tutorials! Follow along with the free written crochet pattern on Moogly! Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links; materials provided by Yarnspirations. Luxe Loops Slippers Tutorial: How to Crochet the Luxe Loops Slippers – Right-Handed...

Read More

The post Luxe Loops Slippers Tutorial appeared first on moogly. Please visit www.mooglyblog.com for this post. If you are viewing this on another site they have scraped the content from my website without permission. Thank you for your support.

Categories: Crochet Life

Doctor Who: Mind of the Hodiac from Russell T Davies &#8211; All Star Guest Cast Revealed!

Blogtor Who - Fri, 12/17/2021 - 15:00

T’Nia Miller, Annette Badland and more join Colin Baker and Bonnie Langford for Russell T Davies’ Mind of the Hodiac Big Finish have announced the star-studded guest cast joining Colin Baker and Bonnie Langford for the audio release of Russell T Davies’ long-lost Doctor Who: Mind of the Hodiac script. Davies originally wrote the script […]

The post Doctor Who: Mind of the Hodiac from Russell T Davies – All Star Guest Cast Revealed! appeared first on Blogtor Who.

Categories: Doctor Who Feeds

Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

Knitted Bliss - Fri, 12/17/2021 - 11:00


My Favourite Articles This Week some tips and tricks to navigate the winter blues. 12 tips for how to end a conversation. How to figure out your most productive hours of the day. on navigating the holidays after a loss. A brilliant, unforgettable long read on performing happiness as a mother when you have a

The post Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week appeared first on %%www.knittedbliss.com%%.

Categories: Knitting Feeds

Timeslides: The Doctor Who Art of Colin Howard &#8211; Coming Soon

Blogtor Who - Thu, 12/16/2021 - 21:38

Timeslides will present essential pieces from Colin Howard’s archive of Doctor Who art Candy Jar Books have announce Timeslides: The Doctor Who Art of Colin Howard. The new book collects together a selection of very best pieces by the popular Doctor Who cover artist. In addition to illustrating some thirty VHS covers in the 1990s, […]

The post Timeslides: The Doctor Who Art of Colin Howard – Coming Soon appeared first on Blogtor Who.

Categories: Doctor Who Feeds

1d10 Random Encounter Chart of Peusdo Thugg Assassin Cults Table For Neon Lords of the Toxic Wastelands Rpg Or Your OSR Post Apocalpytic Campaign

Swords & Stitchery - Thu, 12/16/2021 - 18:52
 Out in the desert wastelands & toxic waste dumps of Neo Traxx dimensional raiding cults of peusdo Thugg assassin cults  set up lures for adventurers & travelers especially around the month of  December. They are led by a charismatic bardic messiah figure named George. Pre Ancients swear that this figure is none other then an alternative Earth George Michaels. This messiahic serves some ancient Needleshttp://www.blogger.com/profile/11243274667834930867noreply@blogger.com0
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Luxe Loops Slippers

Moogly - Thu, 12/16/2021 - 15:51

The Luxe Loops Slippers are plush, luxurious, and make a great gift set with the matching headband! Get cozy toes this winter with this free crochet pattern on Moogly! Disclaimer: Materials for this pattern were provided by Yarnspirations; this post includes affiliate links. Featuring Bernat Blanket O’Go – or Any Blanket! To make the Luxe...

Read More

The post Luxe Loops Slippers appeared first on moogly. Please visit www.mooglyblog.com for this post. If you are viewing this on another site they have scraped the content from my website without permission. Thank you for your support.

Categories: Crochet Life

Grindr fined for selling user data to advertisers

Malwarebytes - Thu, 12/16/2021 - 12:25

Dating network Grindr has been slapped with a US$7.7 million fine by Norwegian regulator Datatilsynet for sharing data with advertisers.

Grindr—which call itself the world’s largest social networking app for gay, bi, trans, and queer people—sold data which includes GPS, IP address, age, and gender.

No consent, no app

The Norwegian Data Protection Authority (Datatilsynet), ruled that the way in which Grindr collected user consent did not meet with the regulations stipulated in the EU GDPR. And, as such, the disclosure of personal data was in breach of the Privacy Ordinance.

Users had to accept the privacy statement in its entirety to use the app, and they were not specifically asked if they would consent to disclosure to third parties for marketing purposes. In addition, information about the disclosure of personal information was not clear or accessible enough to users.

The fine covers the period from July 2018, when the “Law on the Processing of Personal Data (Personal Data Act)” was established, until April 2020, when Grindr changed the consent solution. Whether Grindr’s current consent solution meets with the legal demands has not been established yet.

Shared data

Grindr disclosed information about a user’s GPS location, IP address, mobile phone advertising ID, age and gender to several third parties for marketing purposes. With this information, users could be identified, and third parties could potentially share this data further.

According to GDPR, the personal data that companies must protect includes any information that can “directly or indirectly” identify a person—or subject—to whom the data belongs or describes. Included are names, identification numbers, location data, online identifiers like screen names or account names, and even characteristics that describe the “physical, physiological, genetic, mental, commercial, cultural, or social identity of a person.”

The authority emphasized that the information that a person is a Grindr user establishes a special category of personal information, because it strongly indicates that they belong to a sexual minority. Information about someone’s sexual orientation has a special protection in the Privacy Ordinance. And since the consent Grindr collected was invalid, Grindr was not legally entitled to share such information.

It is customary in dating apps to be very careful about the information you share. Many users choose not to enter their full name or upload photos of their face so that they can be discreet. Nevertheless, identifiable information about them and their use of Grindr was passed on to an unknown number of companies for marketing purposes.

High fine

Datatilsynet initially fined Grindr around US$12.2 million following an initial ruling in January 2021, but later revised this amount down to 7.7 million, after reviewing Grindr’s turnover figures. Nevertheless, this is the highest fee to date from the Norwegian Data Protection Authority.

Despite reconsidering the amount, Norway considers the offence by Grindr to be “grave” – most likely because the data collected, including gender, falls under the GDPR rules. According to Datatilsynet:

“Because thousands of users in Norway have had their personal information illegally disclosed for Grindr’s commercial interests, including location data and that they are Grindr users. Business models based on behavior-based marketing are common in the digital economy, and it is important that the infringement fee for offenses acts as a deterrent and contributes to compliance with the privacy regulations.“

Grindr has not responded to the fine and now has three weeks to appeal the verdict. The app has previously confirmed that the fined offenses were committed before April 2020, when its terms of use were updated.

Previous concerns

It is not the first time Grindr has raised privacy concerns. Earlier action against the app was sparked by an NPR news report exposing Grindr’s practice of sharing the most personal and sensitive information of its users with third-party analytics firms, without their informed consent. That data included personally identifiable and sensitive user information such as HIV status, email address, telephone number, precise geolocation, sexuality, relationship status, ethnicity and “last HIV tested date.”

The post Grindr fined for selling user data to advertisers appeared first on Malwarebytes Labs.

Categories: Techie Feeds


Subscribe to Furiously Eclectic People aggregator