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Many companies had been criticised for being slow to respond and it was not until June 2018, for instance, that Grindr joined the awareness campaign against impostors and published a list of dangerous areas as well as contact details for organisations such as TIERS.
“On our safety page, we list the most common neighborhoods in eight Nigerian cities where Grindr users have been lured for entrapment,” the company wrote to African Arguments.
“I had to call my colleagues to ask for money although I couldn’t tell them what exactly it was for,” says James.
He gave his attackers N25,000 () and his phone before they let him go. According to The Initiative for Equal Rights’ (TIERS), there were 286 documented cases of violations due to people’s real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity in 2018.
One of these is Kito Diaries, a blog set up in 2014, which has a category called “Kito Alert”.
In this section, users such as Obed have written about their experiences of being ambushed or targeted by police masquerading as gay men on the internet.
Members of the LGBTQ community must support each other since, he argues, they are “not assisted by law enforcement in this battle to survive targeted anti-gay crimes”.
“Running Kito Diaries showed me how alone the LGBT community essentially is,” he says.
“They told me I was smelling, that I had anal cancer and had to wear diapers,” says Uzor.
“The real predators were not the guys that held me hostage that night, but the policemen I believed came to rescue me but turned to extort and humiliate me,” he says.
In order to combat these crimes, LGBTQ Nigerians are devising ways to warn each other of the dangers.
In Uzor’s case, it was a platform called 2go, which he had used successfully to meet men in the past.
“I was 19-years-old and I couldn’t meet gay men in my area without 2go,” he says.
In part thanks to initiatives such as this, Ude says that queer Nigerians are taking greater precautions and that reckless meetings with people met on the internet are becoming less frequent.