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China's gay dating app Blued clamps down on underage users

China's gay dating app Blued has cracked down on underage users following allegations it prioritised growth over user safety.

Chinese gay dating app Blued has stopped new registrations following reports underage users caught HIV from dates made on the site.

The app, which is the world’s largest networking app for the LGBT community, will undertake a “comprehensive content audit and regulation,” to crack down on juvenile users posing as adults. The app also said it will clamp down on texts, pictures, and groups that involve minors.

The move follows a report in Chinese financial magazine Caixin, which accused the app of prioritising growth over user safety.

Among the claims in the article, were allegations that underage users were heavily involved in the app and were exposed to explicit content and sexual exploitation.

The article also stated that gay teenagers had unprotected sex and contracted HIV while on dates made via the app.

A statement from Blued on Weibo said, “Blued always forbids juveniles from logging on and using the app”. It also said the app has used artificial intelligence to detect pornographic content since last year.

Blued claims to have 40 million registered users and is backed by investors including state-run media Beijing News and CDH Investment.

The app, which launched in 2010, was the brainchild of Ma Baoli, a former policeman who quit his job to launch the app.

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