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Digital platform joins with It Gets Better for Pride-themed content

The online world can be a scary place, and it can still be difficult to “find your people” there without a little help



Graphic provided by StreamElements

LOS ANGELES – The age of online communication has made it easier for LGBTQ+ people to connect with their community than ever before. This is especially valuable for young people, who don’t feel safe being out in their real-life environment, or who are isolated, whether by geography or prevailing social attitudes, from larger LGBTQ+ populations. Yet the online world, just like the real one, can be a scary place, and it can still be difficult to “find your people” there without a little help.

That’s why StreamElements, a platform which powers over 1.1 million digital content creators across Twitch, YouTube Live, and Facebook Gaming, is stepping up to provide assistance. The company is partnering with the It Gets Better Project for a new campaign that aims to help create safer and more inclusive LGBTQ spaces online, providing support for the community during Pride Month and beyond. 

As part of the campaign, StreamElements is:

  • Donating $25,000 to the It Gets Better Project and 100% of the proceeds from Prime-themed merchandise. It Gets Better, of course, is a nonprofit organization that leverages the power of media to reach and provide critical support and hope to LGBTQ+ young people around the world.
  • Collaborating with and commissioning graphics from LGBTQ+ artists Jaime Hayde and Andrea Marroquín, which will be used on special merchandise items for charity and shared with the broader streaming community for use in their individual merch stores.
  • Creating special overlays and alerts that feature the Pride-themed art for livestreamers to use on their channels. This “SuperTheme” can be used at various stages of a livestreamed broadcast and incorporates art from Hayde.
  • Spotlighting LGBTQ+ creators throughout the month via its social media channels, highlighting their work and including videos where they will share their journey and comment on what Pride means to them.

The initiative was spearheaded Sean Horvath, CRO of StreamElements and a proud member of the LGBTQ+ community, who says, “Pride has always been an important part of my life. Seeing StreamElements partner with LGBTQ+ content creators and the highly impactful Its Gets Better Project to drive social change is a significant milestone, especially for myself and many other members of our staff who are part of the community we’re celebrating. Our goal with this campaign is to not only shine a light on all the amazing things Pride represents, but to continue our previous commitment to supporting diversity by ensuring the efforts we put forward are prominent year-round.”

You can find out more at the StreamElements website.


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TikTok to divest from Chinese parent if U.S. security deal fails

GLAAD’s annual Social Media Safety Index gave TikTok a failing score on LGBTQ+ safety, yet the app is popular, especially among LGBTQ+ youth



TikTok CEO Shou Chew (Screenshot/YouTube - know Exact)

CULVER CITY – As the battle over TikTok posing a threat to U.S. national security and Americans continues to escalate, Shou Zi Chew, the chief executive of the Los Angeles-based video-sharing app, will make his first appearance before Congress to testify next week.

In contention is that TikTok is wholly and privately owned by Chinese parent company, ByteDance, which has raised bipartisan fears in local and state governments as well as in Congress of the app being used to collect and manipulate users’ data by the Chinese government or related entities.

The controversy surrounding misinformation, addictive content, censorship, and kids’ data allegedly being accessed by the Chinese government in addition to adults has seen several state governments ban the app entirely from state-owned mobile phones, computers, and data pads.

Shou Zi Chew, a Singaporean entrepreneur, will be attempting to skeptical lawmakers on Capitol Hill that his company’s social networking company poses no dangers to Americans, especially children.

TikTok’s LGBTQ+ following has generally positive experiences although there have been widely reported instances of users, notably transgender users seemingly targeted by the platform’s algorithms and having their accounts banned or repeatedly suspended.

Of greater concern is the staggering rise in anti-LGBTQ+ violence and threats on the platform prompting LGBTQ+ advocacy group GLAAD, in its annual Social Media Safety Index, to give TikTok a failing score on LGBTQ+ safety.

Yotam Ophir, an assistant professor of communications at the University at Buffalo, who studies misinformation and extremism, told Scientific American journalist Helen Santoro in a December 2022 interview:

“It’s become pretty clear that the LGBTQ+ community is now at the heart of the new iteration of the culture wars that we have been unfortunately going through in recent years,” he says. This community has become “a staple of right-wing messaging and often propaganda.”

Scientific American reported the false claims and rhetoric used by right-wing extremists dehumanize and vilify the LGBTQ+ community and provoke stochastic terrorism, a phenomenon in which hate speech increases the likelihood that people will attack the targets of vicious claims.

Research has also shown that this type of rhetoric can motivate people to express and possibly act on their prejudiced views

According to GLAAD, Media Matters for America, and the U.S. Department of Justice and the FBI social media plays a crucial role in the spread of this stochastic terrorism to include TikTok.

TikTok to divest from ByteDance if U.S. security deal fails- Report from Yahoo Finance:


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RuPaul: “Drag queens are the Marines of the queer movement”

“Register to vote so we can get these stunt queens out of office and put some smart people with real solutions into government”



RuPaul Andre Charles (Screenshot/Instagram)

PROVO, S.D. – 12 time Emmy award winner RuPaul Andre Charles, drag queen, television personality, actor, musician, and model called out the conservative Republicans and extremists who are engaged in legislative and media attacks on LGBTQ+ Americans Wednesday.

In a video posted to his Instagram account, the drag superstar labeled Republican lawmakers passing anti-trans and anti-drag performance bills bullies and said:

“Hey, look over there! A classic distraction technique, distracting us away from the real issues that they were voted into office to focus on: jobs, healthcare, keeping our children safe from harm at their own school.

“But we know that bullies are incompetent at solving real issues. They look for easy targets so they can give the impression of being effective. They think our love, our light, our laughter and our joy are signs of weakness.

“But they’re wrong because that is our strength. Drag queens are the Marines of the queer movement. Don’t get it twisted and don’t be distracted. Register to vote so we can get these stunt queens out of office and put some smart people with real solutions into government.

“And by the way, a social media post has never been as powerful as a registered vote.”

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Local math teacher takes son to WeHo nail salon, defies negativity

The toddler’s pre-school teacher scolded him for wanting to paint his nails saying “painting your nails is only for girls”



Christian Shearhod and his 3-year-old son Ashton (Photo via Shearhod/Instagram)

HOLLYWOOD – Christian Shearhod, who teaches math in Los Angeles County, took his three-year-old son to a West Hollywood nail salon after the toddler’s daycare teacher said “painting your nails is only for girls.”

“My son came home from school upset because his teacher told him that painting his nails is only for girls, so today I’m taking him to the nail shop!” Christian Shearhod said in a TikTok video posted last week.

Shearhod noted that the boy’s daycare teacher had scolded him for wanting to paint his nails, calling it a ‘girls only’ activity.

In an interview with NBC News Shearhod said his son first expressed interest in nail polish around the age of 2. 

“Since then, we started painting our nails together,” he said. 

Shearhod, in a relationship with his transgender girlfriend Eden, is a straight LGBTQ+ ally and uses his TikTok platform to bolster LGBTQ+ equality and visibility.

Eden, Ashton, & Christian Shearhod (Photo via Shearhod/Instagram)

After the negativity from his son’s daycare teacher which upset his son, Shearhod told NBC News that he and his girlfriend hoped to cheer the boy up by taking him to the nail salon.

“I really just wanted to make sure that he didn’t have guilt or shame, because it is something that he enjoyed, and we had done together multiple times,” Shearhod said, adding that he wants his son to enjoy life to the fullest at his age, without “strict gender norms.”

The following school day, Shearhod said he spoke with Ashton’s day care teachers. 

“I just told them, ‘Hey, I’d appreciate it if you didn’t say that kind of thing to Ashton, kind of let him do his own thing,’” Shearhod told NBC he said to the daycare staff.



♬ Pretty Girls Walk – Big Boss Vette
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StanChris asks his Dad some uncomfy questions

LA Blade contributor StanChris is back with a new video where he and his Dad engage in questions around his sexuality and how his Dad views it




LOS ANGELES – It’s a new year and Los Angeles Blade contributor StanChris is back with a new video where he and his Dad engage in questions around his sexuality and how his Dad views it.

Editor’s note: The following video is sponsored by SkillShare which is not endorsed by nor an advertising partner of the Los Angeles Blade.



YouTube Channel Subscribe here!!: (Link)

S O C I A L S & L I N K S

→Instagram: stanchris

→ Twitter: stanchrisss

→Spotify: qtboy3…

→Tik Tok: stanchrissss…

→meme Instagram: woketwink

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How rise of school surveillance software affects LGBTQ students

“Should students who identify as LGBTQ be identified from monitoring software, and potentially be disciplined or punished?”



15-year-old Desmond Napoles & his mother Wendy (Photo courtesy of the Napoles family)

By Anne Wen | NEW YORK CITY – During the pandemic, 15-year-old Desmond Napoles looked up the definition of sexuality out of personal interest on their school-issued tablet. The New York City sophomore did not realize at the time that school administrators and teachers could be alerted to the search. 

As schools increasingly monitor students’ online activities, LGBTQ students find themselves at particular risk. The tracking can “out” queer students because the software can notify school officials or law enforcement officers of searches related to sexuality and other topics. And it can make it harder for LGBTQ students, in particular, to access sexual health information online. 

The increase in district-issued devices during the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated worries among some queer students, who now feel they are constantly watched by their schools at home and school. 

“When you realize that you’re being tracked and you looked up something already, it’s pretty stressful,” said Napoles. The New York City Department of Education did not respond to questions from Youth Today about its use of monitoring software. But the district signed a contract with tracking software company GoGuardian in 2021, according to Bloomberg.


Eighty-nine percent of teachers surveyed in a spring 2022 Center for Democracy & Technology poll said their school monitors student activity on school-issued or personal devices.  

School surveillance targeting LGBTQ students: colorful artistic headshot of youth with curly hair and painterly makeup

Desmond Napoles (Photo by Aaron Williams)

“When you realize that you’re being tracked and you looked up something already, it’s pretty stressful,” said Desmond Napoles.

“Students are working under the false assumption that certain things — their chats, their documents — are private, when in fact, they’re being actively monitored by the school,” said Cody Venzke, one of the authors of the report. “That can come as a shock for students not aware that what they’re writing in the document they thought was their private journal is in fact being scanned by an algorithm and potentially relayed to school counselors or even law enforcement.”

U.S. Senate investigation into educational technology companies that sell products to monitor students’ online activity found that the products “raise significant privacy and equity concerns.” 

“Studies have highlighted unintended but harmful consequences of student activity monitoring software that fall disproportionately on vulnerable populations: artificial intelligence and algorithmic systems frequently mischaracterize students’ activity and flag harmless activity as a ‘threat,’ and students from minority or marginalized communities, including students of color and LGBTQ students, are far more likely to be flagged,” according to the Senate report, which focused on companies including Gaggle, GoGuardian, Bark Technologies and Securly Inc.

The Senate report noted research showing that algorithms used in the products are more likely to flag language used by people of color and LGBTQ students as problematic, and that, since LGBTQ students largely prefer to seek help online, some of these monitoring tools’ website filtering features “frequently” prevent them from accessing health information by flagging words related to sexual orientation.

“The impacts of these shortcomings range from disproportionate disciplinary rates of LGBTQ students to unintentional outing of LGBTQ students to parents and other adults,” according to the Senate report.

In responses to the Senate investigation, the companies emphasized their commitments to student safety. Gaggle, which reports its products are used by about 1,500 school districts, provided a list of more than a dozen school superintendents and officials who had agreed to serve as references for their products. 

Gaggle and GoGuardian, two major companies providing surveillance software to schools, declined interview requests from Youth Today.

But in an emailed statement, Gaggle said that its software had helped save the lives of 1,562 students who were planning or actively attempting suicide last school year and noted that LGBTQ youth were four times more likely to consider or attempt suicide than their peers. The company also cited a Gaggle-sponsored white paper that found 85% of educators reported the monitoring software helps reduce the harassment of LGBTQ students. 

GoGuardian sent a statement reading, in part, “GoGuardian believes that our schools and classrooms should be spaces where all students are treated equitably and have the opportunity to learn and thrive.”

The company noted its work with experts to strengthen “internal resources” in support of marginalized communities, citing recent educational content and a webinars produced in partnership with The Trevor Project, a suicide prevention and mental health organization for LGBTQ youth. 

In a statement to Youth Today, a spokesperson for The Trevor Project wrote that the nonprofit does not partner with GoGuardian and does not plan to do so. Earlier this fall, The Trevor Project returned a $25,000 donation from Gaggle, citing concerns about the software’s “role in negatively impacting LGBTQ students.”


School surveillance targeting LGBTQ students: white man in suit with arms crossed in government building

Photo courtesy of Chris Wood

Chris Wood, executive director of LGBTQ Tech, a nonprofit that provides tech policy advice about LGBTQ individuals, believes that schools ask students to use the services with good intentions, but the inadvertent effects of monitoring make schools less safe for queer students. 

“If you can’t have a supportive environment at home, then you look to a supportive environment, in the places that you’re at most often, like a public school or a library,” Wood said. “And if you’re then making it harder for them to gain access to those resources, through monitoring or filtering, then you’re creating an environment where we’re creating a mental health nightmare.” 

Wood also said that the web filters many districts use to protect students against sexual content, may also inadvertently block advice that helps LGBTQ individuals without supportive biological families. 

The way some districts use monitoring software may particularly harm students of color who are LGBTQ, Wood noted, by exposing them to a disparate risk of discipline due to their online activity. 

“Technology could have been a lifesaver. It could have been an opportunity for an individual to explore their identity and have safe and equitable conversations about their identity” Wood said. “Instead, we’re doing quite the opposite.”

To better serve students, teachers should connect LGBTQ students with more resources so that they can come to terms with their identity, said Maria Dolores Cimini, a psychologist and behavioral health researcher at the State University of New York at Albany.

“Should students who identify as LGBTQ be identified from monitoring software, and potentially be disciplined or punished, that is inappropriate,” Cimini said. “It is something that could negatively affect their mental health and could even increase increased concerns such as depression, anxiety, and even risk for suicide.”

School surveillance targeting LGBTQ students: white woman with glasses and short hair in front of solid grey background

Photo courtesy of Maria Dolores Cimini

Wendy Napoles, Desmond’s mother, is thankful for the New York school district’s use of filters to prevent students from viewing inappropriate content such as pornography on district devices. Both she and Desmond Napoles acknowledged that the monitoring software can provide safety, especially if a student’s search history reveals chronic mental health problems. 

But the potential to track a student’s search history, including topics related to sexuality and gender, feels like an invasion of privacy, Wendy Napoles said. 

“I’m just really worried, as Desmond is, about who is looking at this, and what are they doing with that data?” Wendy Napoles said. “Are teachers seeing it, where they may not have known a child was part of the LGBTQ community, and are they going to treat that child differently?” 


Anne Wen is a Guam-based journalist who covers college education and Pacific islands for The Guardian, Teen Vogue, Pacific Daily News, and Youth Today. 


The preceding article was previously published by Youth Today & is republished with permission.

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League Of Legends’ first gay black game character censored

“The straightwashing of queer characters from games proves that there is nothing more important than making the most money”



First gay black character of K'Sante in League Of Legends (Photo courtesy of Riot Games)

SAN FRANCISCO – At the global gaming championship tournament ‘Worlds 2022′ held this weekend in the City by the Bay, Riot Games’ League Of Legends executive producer Jeremy Lee told British media outlet Sky News gaming reporter Martin Kimber, the company removes some references to LGBTQ+ people in countries in which same-sex marriage or being LGBTQ+ is illegal.

Riot Games, which is owned by Chinses Tech Media powerhouse conglomerate Tencent, has introduced the first gay black character of K’Sante into its League Of Legends with great fanfare including a promotional campaign with Out singer-rapper Lil Nas X.

Lil Nas X gave a performance at the Opening Ceremony during the Worlds Finals on Nov 5, an event that was hosted and promoted by Riot Games.

League is a phenomena as one of the most played video games across the world. Since its release in October 2009, League has been free-to-play and is monetized through purchasable character customization. The game is available on the Microsoft Windows and macOS platforms along with a mobile version and has spawned tournaments, numerous spin-off games and merchandise.

League’s gamers take on the role of champions in teams to work together to achieve objectives, and each has a backstory composed for them by the game’s writers.

 Lee told Sky News he was “very proud” of the new character and that Riot Games wants “everyone who plays League Of Legends to find a champion that resonates with them”.

But he admitted that “each region can localise and publish that story in what they feel like is best for the players”.

“Each region may publish certain aspects of the game a little bit differently to fit into the local culture,” he added.

Tencent’s global public relations lead Hanna Woo told Sky News when asked whether the company makes changes or omissions to the storyline behind some characters to suit the regime under which the game is published, she admitted: “Yes, I would say we do.”

Ben Austwick, known by his Twitch streamer handle of “biggusbennus” told Sky he saw the admission of censorship by Riot Games as; ‘straightwashing shows money is most important.

 “Video games are part of culture and should be at the forefront pushing boundaries, especially in places where LGBT+ oppression is rife,” Austwick said.

“The straightwashing of queer characters from games in countries with a poor record of LGBT+ rights is sad and proves that there is nothing more important than making the most money,” he added.

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Massive layoff spurs lawsuit & increased fear of anti-LGBTQ Twitter

“As a company, Twitter has a right, and a responsibility, to keep its platform from being exploited to fuel a dangerous media environment”



Twitter corporate global headquarters in San Francisco (Screenshot/YouTube)

SAN FRANCISCO – In a company-wide email sent out Thursday evening, Twitter employees worldwide were informed that the now privately controlled company, by billionaire Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk, would be laying off nearly half of the workforce.

Musk last week completed his $44 billion acquisition of the company, and has already commenced restructuring the social media platform after his initial take-over when he dissolved the Twitter board of directors and now acts as the social media company’s sole director.

In the hours after acquiring Twitter in late October, Musk in addition to the board fired Twitter’s chief executive Parag Agrawal, as well as Vijaya Gadde, who ran the social media company’s legal, policy and trust teams.

He has also demanded company employees to find new sources of revenue and in a widely condemned move announced that the verified user blue check would be a monthly fee based status which prompted celebrities, journalists, and other currently verified users to protest or leave the platform saying the diluted fee-based “check” would be useless and open to rampant abuse.

One of those affected Politico reported Friday, Joan Deitchman, who was a senior engineer in Twitter’s machine learning, ethics, transparency and accountability team, wrote on the platform that the unit — whose job included research on how to improve transparency around automated algorithms — had been completely disbanded. That work is central to how regulators are now looking to police social media, including how potentially hate-filled content is promoted automatically across these platforms.

“All that is gone,” she said according to Politico.

As Musk made these changes, several large advertisers on the platform paused or stopped prompting the tech billionaire allege in a tweet: “Twitter has had a massive drop in revenue, due to activist groups pressuring advertisers, even though nothing has changed with content moderation and we did everything we could to appease the activists. […] They’re trying to destroy free speech in America.”

Hate speech on the platform with effective and fair content moderation, particularly that aimed at transgender Americans is a major concern to LGBTQ+ advocacy groups.

In a statement, Jay Brown, HRC Senior Vice President of Programs, Research, and Training, said:

We are very concerned about Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter. Musk has pledged to restore the accounts of dangerous people who push extremism and disinformation. When this happens, Twitter – a place where many marginalized people, including LGBTQ+ people, find both community and face an onslaught of hate – will quickly become even more hostile. Adding insult to injury, Musk’s reported plans to cut staff levels – including employees who provide moderation – are deeply troubling.

As a company, Twitter has a right, and a responsibility, to keep its platform from being exploited to fuel a dangerous media environment. This isn’t about censorship or discrimination of ideas – it is about what kind of company they want to be and what kind of world they want to shape.”

Bloomberg business correspondent Josh Eidelson reported Twitter was sued Friday in a proposed class action for conducting a mass layoff without the required 60 day notice as provided in California and federal law.

Bloomberg reported:

Twitter Inc. was sued over Elon Musk’s plan to eliminate about 3,700 jobs at the social-media platform, which workers say the company is doing without enough notice in violation of federal and California law.

A class-action lawsuit was filed Thursday in San Francisco federal court. The federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act restricts large companies from mounting mass layoffs without at least 60 days of advance notice.

The lawsuit asks the court to issue an order requiring Twitter to obey the WARN Act, and restricting the company from soliciting employees to sign documents that could give up their right to participate in litigation.

Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) released the following statement following Elon Musk’s announcement that he has laid off half of Twitter’s workforce:

“Today’s move by Elon Musk to mass-fire 50% of Twitter’s employees, including many San Franciscans, is deeply concerning, particularly after Musk fired the executives responsible for enhancing user safety on the platform. While companies periodically engage in layoffs to acknowledge economic realities, firing a full half of employees goes well beyond that.

“Combined with Musk’s signals that he will allow toxic accounts back onto the platform — thus leading to targeting and incitement of violence against LGBTQ people, Jews, people or color, and others — I see trouble ahead for Twitter, its users, and our democracy.”

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Musk promoted anti-gay conspiracy theory about Paul Pelosi attack

SFPD said the victim & suspect did not know each other. SFPD noted the assault followed a break-in.” Musk deleted his original tweet



Screenshot/YouTube ABC News GMA

AUSTIN – Elon Musk on Sunday retweeted a tweet that falsely claimed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)’s husband and the man who police say attacked him were lovers.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton tweeted a Los Angeles Times story about far-right conspiracy theories to which David DePape, the man who authorities say attacked Paul Pelosi with a hammer in his San Francisco home on Oct. 28, had subscribed. 

NBC News reported Musk responded to Clinton’s tweet with a link to the Santa Monica Observer, a right-wing website, that said Paul Pelosi “was drunk again, and in a dispute with a male prostitute.”

“There is a tiny possibility there might be more to this story than meets the eye,” said Musk in his tweet.

The Santa Monica Observer in an update it posted to the original story on Sunday said “San Francisco Police said today that victim Pelosi and suspect DePape did not know each other prior to the attack. SFPD reaffirmed that the assault followed a break-in.” Musk has deleted his original tweet.

Paul Pelosi underwent surgery at a San Francisco hospital after the attack. DePape has been charged with attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, elder abuse and other charges.

Musk completed his $44 billion acquisition of Twitter on Oct. 27, hours before Paul Pelosi was attacked.

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#DeleteGrindr trending over incoming CEO’s past right-wing tweets  

Arison identified himself as a ‘conservative’ supporting some Trump policies in a tweet he deleted, in a 2020 thread



Grindr's new CEO, George Arison (Los Angeles Blade graphic)

WEST HOLLYWOOD – Some LGBTQ+ Grindr users are advocating people delete the popular dating app after old Twitter posts surfaced supporting anti-LGBTQ right wing politicians by the new incoming openly gay Grindr Chief Executive Officer George Arison were shared and retweeted.

Arison, 44, identified himself as a ‘conservative’ supporting some Trump policies in a tweet he deleted, in a 2020 thread that appeared to show support for former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg in the presidential race that year.

Grindr which boasts about 11 million gay, bisexual, transgender and queer users per month around the world, is preparing to go public this fall with a $2.1 billion valuation. Arison is slated to take over as CEO on October 19.

The contreversary over Arison’s right-wing leaning support, which extended to Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis and Virginia’s Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin who have anti-LGBTQ+ records, comes on the heels of controversy stemming from Facebook posts published by former Grindr CEO Scott Chen:

“Some think marriage is between a man and a woman. I think so, too, but it’s a personal matter,” he wrote. “Some people think the purpose of marriage is to have your own biological children. It’s a personal matter, too.”

In another tweet earlier this year as well Arison signaled apparent approval of Governor Ron DeSantis:

He also voiced support this past February for Virginia’s Republican Governor Glenn Youngkin as the war in Ukraine commenced:

Arison, the openly gay founder and former CEO of Shift Technologies, takes over as the app continues revamping its help center, community guidelines, and safety tips. Grindr has also worked to fight the sexual exploitation of minors and mitigate instances of bullying on the app.

In the months since the conservative leaning tweets Arison has also retweeted a mixture of progressive posts and voicing support for Ukraine.

Ahead of its merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), and as it is preparing to go public, Grindr in addition to naming Arison CEO, also formed a board comprised of 60% LGBTQ+ members.

A spokesperson for the company referring to the online outrage over the past tweets and right-wing leaning retweets and tweets by Arison in a statement to media outlets said:

“George [Arison] is an out gay man, proudly married to his husband and the father of two children,” Grindr said. “George is passionate about fighting for the rights and freedoms of LGBTQ people around the world.” 

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Facebook busts 400 malicious Apps on Apple & Google App stores

Malicious developers create malware apps disguised as apps with fun or useful functionality — like cartoon image editors or music players



Los Angeles Blade file photo

MENLO PARK, CA. – The Threat Disruption, Malware Discovery and Detection security team at Meta, parent company of Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp announced Friday that its security research and engineering teams have identified 400 malicious Android and iOS apps this year that target people across the internet to steal their Facebook login information.

According to David Agranovich, Director of the Threat Disruption, Malware Discovery and Detection security team at Meta, the apps were listed on the Google Play Store and Apple’s App Store and disguised as photo editors, games, VPN services, business apps and other utilities to trick people into downloading them. Some examples include:

  • Photo editors, including those that claim to allow you to “turn yourself into a cartoon”
  • VPNs claiming to boost browsing speed or grant access to blocked content or websites
  • Phone utilities such as flashlight apps that claim to brighten your phone’s flashlight 
  • Mobile games falsely promising high-quality 3D graphics
  • Health and lifestyle apps such as horoscopes and fitness trackers
  • Business or ad management apps claiming to provide hidden or unauthorized features not found in official apps by tech platforms.
Pie chart showing categories of malicious apps

This is a highly adversarial space and while our industry peers work to detect and remove malicious software, some of these apps evade detection and make it onto legitimate app stores. We’ve reported these malicious apps to our peers at Apple and Google and they have been taken down from both app stores prior to this report’s publication. We are also alerting people who may have unknowingly self-compromised their accounts by downloading these apps and sharing their credentials, and are helping them to secure their accounts.

How Do These Apps Work?

Malware apps on third-party app stores are disguised to look fun or useful

Malicious developers create malware apps disguised as apps with fun or useful functionality — like cartoon image editors or music players — and publish them on mobile app stores. 

Their developers may publish fake reviews of the app to cover up negative ones

To cover up negative reviews by people who have spotted the defunct or malicious nature of the apps, developers may publish fake reviews to trick others into downloading the malware.

And hope that people will be tricked into downloading it

When a person installs the malicious app, it may ask them to “Login With Facebook” before they are able to use its promised features. If they enter their credentials, the malware steals their username and password. 

The malware can steal user's login information

If the login information is stolen, attackers could potentially gain full access to a person’s account and do things like message their friends or access private information.

Attackers can potentially gain full access to a person's account

To protect yourself against these bad actors Facebook recommends being aware of the following:

How You Can Stay Safe

There are many legitimate apps that offer the features listed above or that may ask you to sign in with Facebook in a safe and secure way. Cybercriminals know how popular these types of apps are and use these themes to trick people and steal their accounts and information. 

Malware apps often have telltale signs that differentiate them from legitimate apps. Here are a few things to consider before logging into a mobile app with your Facebook account:

  1. Requiring social media credentials to use the app: Is the app unusable if you don’t provide your Facebook information? For example, be suspicious of a photo-editing app that needs your Facebook login and password before allowing you to use it.
  2. The app’s reputation: Is the app reputable? Look at its download count, ratings and reviews, including negative ones. 
  3. Promised features: Does the app provide the functionality it says it will, either before or after logging in? 

Here are a few examples of malware apps we found to provide no functionality until you log in with your social media account.

Examples of malicious apps
Example of malicious apps

What to Do If You’re Affected

If you believe you’ve downloaded a malicious app and have logged in with your social media or other online credentials, we recommend that you delete the app from your device immediately and follow the following instructions to secure your accounts: 

  1. Reset and create new strong passwords. Never reuse your password across multiple websites. 
  2. Enable two-factor authentication, preferably using an Authenticator app, to add an extra security layer to your account. 
  3. Turn on log-in alerts so you’ll be notified if someone is trying to access your account. Be sure to review your previous sessions to ensure you recognize which devices have access to your account.

We also encourage people to report malicious applications that compromise Meta accounts to us through our Data Abuse Bounty program.

Threat Indicators

Threat indicators are also available in CSV, TSV, and JSON formats at 

Meta’s security team listed the Apps discovered to be malicious:

Android Apps

Android Package NameApp Name
apex.hoolom.racecar.appApex Race Game
callerscreen.paper.ringshowCallerPaper Show
com.abs.provideo_editorVideo Converter Master Photo Cartoon
com.addtextcoon.shapermoterPhoto Frame PIP Collage Maker
com.adonarusso.daily.horoscopeZodiHoroscope – Fortune Finder
com.ads_manager_helperAds Manager Helper Optimization Meta
com.adsagency.socialmngAd Manager For Social
com.agehohn.fpsgame.appAgent John FPS Game
com.allsite.unloUnblocked Website
com.amazcam.apbestBest Fun Cam
com.amazing.psychologyfactsPsychology Facts
com.androiddharmesh.editorCool Photo Editor
com.androiddharmesh.fashioncamCool Filter Editor
com.anhhuy.adsAds & Page
com.anhhuy.adspagesmanagerAds Pages Manager Master
com.applock.easyuse.lockAppLock-Lock Apps & Privacy Guard Picture Editor
com.artext.picshowText Camera
com.artoon.toonphotoArtoon Photo Cartoon Creator
com.artpics.camproPics Art
com.ashtoon.tooncool.skordoiAshtoon Cartoon Editor
com.atharva.perfect.photoeffectsPerfect Photo Effects | Loop Photo Animator
com.ballmaster.puzzleBomb Master 3D Music Downloader & Free Mp3 Downloader Camera
com.beautycamera.plusfunyBeauty Camera Plus
com.beautyeditor.bestphotoeditorPhoto Editor
com.beautymakeup.cameramBeauty Makeup Camera
com.bestpuz.gams.artpicsArt Puzzle 2021
com.biscoco.camfilterBiscuit Coco Cam
com.bluee.gormeBlue-shoot Game
com.blur.image.handleBlur Photo
com.blut.shootingBluetouch Shooting Game
com.bobom.crashran.raceRanger Crash Game VPN
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com.brawsantoon.besteditorSkintoon – Labs of Cartoon
com.businessplannerdesignBusiness Planner Manage filter camera
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com.candlesvpn.proxyssCandles VPN
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com.cartoons.photofacemakerPhoto editor PIP collage maker
com.caryshughes.toonprismaeffectToonPrisma – 3D Photo Effect
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com.cliffbradley.youtooncartooneffectYouToon – AI Cartoon Effect
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com.craftstoon.cartoonphotoCraftsart Cartoon Photo Tools
com.creatoonbest.faceeditCreatoon Face Editor
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com.customcamare.ppcameraPhoto Pro 2021
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com.dahuadata.photomakerpipMaker PIP Gallery
com.dashboardmanagemetaPages Dashboard
com.davykinsman.photoquipo.cartooneffectPhotoquipo Cartoon Pic Effect Wallpaper
com.deepwallpaper.hd.liveDeep Wallpaper-live,HD
com.dennisarmstrong.videolancervideomakerVideolancer – Pro Video Maker
com.dreammaker.phgridpipPIP Collage Coco
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com.dwyzb23xjiqpsn.zbqyuvfgtion3 Patti King – India Rummy
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com.edgarmay.atecphotoeffectAtec Sparkle Photo Editor 2022
com.editor.xinphotoEnjoy Photo Editor
com.edmondatrentini.dingdingphotoeffectDing Ding Photo Effect Editor
com.expto.akgarhwal.puzzlexArt Photo Puzzle
com.fabiomancini.cartoonpainteffectCartoon Face Photo Editor
com.faceart.savetoon.cartooneditSavetoon Art – Face Cartoon
com.faceartoon.studioonFacetoon Photo Art VPN Proxy Optimize
com.fb.metas.adsmanagerAds Manager For Business
com.fillartoon.toonphotosPica Artoon Face Editor
com.filmstrip.drawanimaPhoto Layout Editor
com.filter.photoeditorInstapic: Photo Editor Pro, Collage Maker
com.fimeruv.shapephotoeditorShape Photo Editor
com.fiwyl.sharephotomakerShare Photo Maker
com.flnt.uckSpeedy Vpn Tunnel
com.floydhampton.moldishmansphotoeffectMoldish – Men’s Photo Editor
com.flyspeed.fishFlyFish Speed
com.fonts.text.boardStylist Fonts for Keyboard
com.fotspicass.makerpiccoaPIP Editor Frame Photo
com.fqrs.qrscappFlash QRCode Scanner VPN VPN Master
com.freevpn.proxytuberSuper Tuber VPN
com.freevpn.proxytubervpnTuber VPN – Free&Secure VPN Proxy Server
com.fstl.vtnelFast Vpn Tunnel
com.fucol.puzPhoto Puzzle 2021 Hero Racing
com.fysolasil.sharephotoeditorShare Photo Editor
com.gadybatax.artsphotosArts Photos Filters:Photo to Painting
com.gamebooster.safegameGame Booster
com.gcam.pvintVinto Cam
com.genten.soulmatchEmotion Checker
com.ghost.vpn.masterproxyGhost VPN Proxy
com.gpstrian.phototrianTrain Photo
com.grigoriipeerevozchiikov.animephotoAnime Photo
com.gtrid.edit.bingoemakerPhoto Editor Pic Collage
com.HalogenElement.Frame.TrainPhotoFrameTrain Photo Frame
com.hiepro.hiynodeHiyoo Hidenode pro
com.hiranursaygi.allinoneofficereaderAll in one Doc Editor & Viewer Wallpaper
com.hotspot.vpn.freeproxyHotspot Free VPN
com.hqapps.ppp.wallpaperHighquality Purple Wallpaper
com.hunbeiren.pipeditorimagePIP Editor Image
com.iceselfie.beautycamxIce Selfie Beauty Cam
com.image.move.puzzleImage Move Puzzle
com.instagram.appBusiness from Instagram
com.interaction.wonderfulWonderful Camera
com.ivorfrazier.orahororscopeOra Horoscope – Fortune Finder
com.jxpsnyy.kbvjdjx.dingdingphotoeffectDing Ding Photo Editor
com.kali_corporation.skethcamplusSketch CamPlus Translator
com.kangaroo.vpnproxyKangaroo VPN
com.katarinalang.photocollage.roomPhotoont – Photo Collage Edit
com.kotmob.palmistryPalmistry Reading Free
com.kutsalkoyuncu.toonexphotoediotrToonex Photo Editor 2022 fitness
com.leneroth.photocollagegridmakerPic Collage & Cartoon Editor
com.liannasoft.editorcam4K Camera Hyper Photo Filters
com.liferun.freegameLife Run
com.lightling.creatortoon.cartoonLighting Creator Toon
com.lightning.vpn.proxysLightning VPN
com.likefile.superfileFiles Clear
com.lofacartoon.azwajstudioLofa – Studio Photo Cartoon
com.luckycatcher.freegameLucky Catcher – Catch Them All
com.lucpro.luckyproLucky Number Pro
com.lujeqari.videoremakerVideo Remaker
com.madtoon.aicartoon.kiroahMadToon Face Cartoon Horoscope
com.marcyl.wagbversion.gblatest.gbproversion.liteGB WA Warna Latest Version
com.masto.kicterFree Comic Photos
com.maxinetate.jessicabailey.fosterphotoeffectFoster – Cartoon Photo Effect Photo Editor
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com.milohoward.rosalindvega.theobarber.photoframeeffecteditorPhoto Editor – Frame Effect
com.mkce.fsvcFull Screen Video Editor
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com.moker.stickerSticker Maker Pro
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com.mood.cameraplussMood Camera
com.mosiaguda.astrohoroscopeAstro Horoscope Guide 2022 Music Player
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com.perfectphoto.lookablumPerfect Photo Album
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com.photoeditor.proyPhoto editor Pro
com.photoeditor.sweetsummerSweet Summer Camera App
com.photoeditoreffect.mojungAbrasive Photo Editor
com.photolupo.pipwallPhoto Editors
com.photoplaze.rainbow.colorRainbow Photo Plaze
com.photosticker.camerayouPhoto Sticker&Camera:make you beauty
com.piccollage.imageeditorsPic collage: photo editor&beauty image
com.piclibra.apiceditorCamera PIP Editor Pic Camera Photo Editor
com.piphoto.pipsappPIP Photo
com.pipnames.gocameraPIP Editor Collage
com.Pixa.PhotoEditor.PicsArt.CollageMaker.Lightroom.PhotoLab.PixelLab.PixlrPixa: Photo Editor & Collage Maker
com.playrix.manormatterTreasures of the Pharaoh
com.plugiedit.editandimgPIP Pic Camera Photo Editor
com.postergrid.resdecypicPhoto Collage Maker Pic
com.pped.topcamPerfect Photo Editor
com.prettysmart.easyuse.powerlockSmart AppLock
com.privacyapp.applocker.coolockCool Lock
com.pulse.leftstrong.appPulse Music Player
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com.realdrive.dreamgameReal Driving
com.rebekkadreyer.facecartooneffect.photoeditorPapatoon Face Art Editor
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com.retmagic.piplikePIP Magic 2022
com.rextate.photovideomakerPhoto Video Creator with Music
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com.rismas.tdaycamChristmas Sticker Camera App
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com.rynama.videoeditorVideo Editor Link
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com.sheilacoleman.fissioneffectdoeditorFission Effectdo Pic Editor
com.shinestar.cameraxShineStar Camera
com.shirleypope.lightexposureeditLight Exposure Photo Editor
com.sketchmaster.camplusCartoon Cam Pro
com.slftz.xlzgHigh HD Wallpapers 4K
com.slidingpuzzle.slidepuzzleAmazing Photo Puzzle
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com.snapeditor.proproxySnap Editor Pro
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com.sofapro.editortoonSofa Cartoon – Pro Editor
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com.spedgame.dsrgDrift Speed Racing Game
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com.splicteout.photocollegerSplitScreen PIP
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com.stillcut.spiraeffectPIP PHOTO
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com.surfvpn.proxyfastSurfVPN – Fast VPN Proxy
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com.trixgardner.photazophotoeffectPhotazo – PIP & Cartoon Effect
com.tuber.vpnproxy.internetTuber VPN Proxy
com.tubevpn.master.freeTubo VPN Master Turbo
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com.vendertext.onphotoVender Add Text on Photo
com.Videoeditortfs.proVideo Editor 2021
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com.vivid.coltorVivid Cooleditor
com.voicechanger.soundseffectVoice Changer
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com.wallpaper4k.tools4K Wallpaper
com.wanstep.likekeepstepKeep Step
com.waxwell.saunders.pistaphotoeditorPista – Cartoon Photo Effect
com.waynecraig.magicalastrologyMagical Daily Astrology Reader
com.whddhd.brilliantphotoBrilliant Photo
com.willowpena.fiestraphotoeditorPiestra – Comic & Blend Effect
com.wilmaarnold.kutsalsaglikSmart PDF Reader and Editor Fitness Pro
com.xcar.highwayrace.dsXcar Highway Race
com.xevaphoto.cartoonionXeva Photo Cartoon
com.xingx.gifimageGIFs-Search Animated GIF & Stickers
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com.xinxin.anjoyartphotoEnjoy Art Photo
com.xonasounds.relaxingXona Relaxing Sounds
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com.young.photoeditor.cartooneditorappCartoon Effects Photo Editor
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crash.vila.touch.gameVilatouch crash game
crash.vltcar.fungame.appVilatouch crash car
fpsgame.olshooter.threed.appOnline Shooter FPS Music Downloader & Music Player
ftp.bomcarcing.crashcarsCrash Racing Game
ftp.camfilter.lovebeautyBeauty Camera Filter
ftp.firattck.fpsgameAction Flame FPS
ftp.piaoyi.racegamesDrift Sprint Racing Game
ftp.raceranger.gameppCityRanger Racing Game
funcam.fredonm.appThefun Camera
game.deserthuting.appDesert Hunting Game
game.trytospin.nipsotyrtllTry to spin
lunarzodiacg.besthoroLunar Zodiac Horoscope Flash
media.grape.sdhnt.playerGrape Media Player Music Player Fitness 2020 Ultra Camera
net.fpsol.shootersCode Name-Vulture FPS OL
net.kanvpn.fastspeedKangaroo Fast VPN
net.musicesapp.playerMuses Music Player Camera
net.snaphdphotoeditorapp.ishscsnaphdphotoeditorSnap: HD Photo Editor
net.ssonn.boomraceLightning Drift Racing
net.sweetplus.camxOne-Sweet Camera
net.teecho.camche.cameraBaby Camera
org.crashmaster.funrace.apsCrash Race Master
org.donfan.player.appDonfan Music Player
org.mumu.hdpalyer.appsMulu Music Player
org.musinvshen.playerMusae Music Player
org.nzombie.hutgameNight Hunter Game Music Player
org.svpn.goatsheepGoat Safe VPN
org.zipaimei.camfilterSnapBeauty Cam Filter
player.mmm.mediapp.otrsMostfun Media Music
player.pmte.nfyti.mediaPomelo Music Player
player.seashel.loud.mediaSealod Music Player
player.shellvoice.appSeaShell Music Player
proflash.flash.comProFlash camera
race.apex.accre.gameApex Crash Race
solo.impostormaster.killImpostor Master Solo Kill 2021
spdcar.gamedrag.racgame.appInstant Drag Speed Racing Speed Race
win.bestrace.threed.gameCity Crash Racing Game
win.calshow.zzplus.appCallpaper Show
win.hapsunday.mplayerSunday Media Player
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win.modoen.time.camerModern Time Camera
win.smartgame.sortpuz.appRainbow Square- Sort Puzzle
win.tebag.camapTea Bag Camera

iOS Apps 

iOS App IDApp Name
1555651942FB Advertising Optimization
1561642325Business ADS Manager
1563142182Ads Analytics
1564091908FB Adverts Optimization
1566705026FB Analytic
1566706023FB Adverts Community
1574530186Adverts Ai Optimize
1587056055Very Business Manager
1591775710FB Business Support
1593368297Fb Ads
1596775769Meta Optimizer
1597553589Business Manager Pages
1598946098Adverts Manager
1600072709Meta Adverts Manager
1600404846Ad Optimization Meta
1601275530FB Pages Manager
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1603255418Meta Business
1603571287Business Suite Manager
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1607057895Adverts Bussiness Suite
1608743187Business Ads Clock
1609915932Ads & Pages
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1612196202Business Manager Overview
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1619733733Page Suite Manager
1622402517Business Meta Support
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1626632781Business Suite Ads
1626692617Ads Business Knowledge
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1632069527Ads Business Advance
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1635555183Business Adverts Manager
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1639572841Ads & Business Suite
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