Some users of the gay dating app Scruff may be surprised when they try to use the word "party" in their profile: The app's creators banned the word to crack down on its members from using "party" as code for drugs, according to New Now Next.
"Party" is sometimes used to refer to "chemsex," a term used by gay or bisexual men who use drugs to facilitate sex.
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New Now Next points out there are ways some users figured out to get around the "party" ban: Switching a word for a number does the trick, like "p4rty" or "ch3m."
The ban on "party" has been around for awhile but recently made headlines in the U.K. after BuzzFeed News reported that a man discovered the blocking when he couldn't write "party" in his profile to say he's a member of the Labour Party in his profile.
"To censor a word does not stop people using drugs in potentially harmful ways. If there is an appetite, then it will usually out, despite how it is policed," activist Patrick Cash told BuzzFeed about the "party" ban. "I would like to see Scruff and other gay hookup apps take a greater interest in the holistic wellbeing of its users, their mental health and self-worth.
"Apps are a pivotal part of our modern gay community and their makers should note that they could create far more good than they currently achieve," Cash added.