Tickle versus Giggle discrimination case will proceed

A discrimination case against women’s only social media app Giggle for Girls will proceed after the app developer failed to block the legal action.

Roxanne Tickle, a transgender woman, is suing the social media app Giggle for Girls which promotes itself as an app “made by women for women.” Tickle alleges that the app banned her because they considered her to be male.

The app’s developer Sall Grover (pictured) is a prominent campaigner for women’s rights and campaigned for transgender women to be excluded from women’s only spaces. Among the legal team on the case is former Liberal party candidate and lawyer Katherine Deves.

Tickle applied to the court to revise the case which had previously been withdrawn because of a lack of funds to support the legal action. On Thursday federal judge Robert Bromwich allowed for the extension of time, ordering Giggle to pay Tickle’s legal costs from an earlier hearing.

“I believe that I am being discriminated against by being provided with extremely limited functionality of a smartphone app by the app provider compared to that of other users because I am a transgender woman,” Tickle wrote in a complaint with the Australian Human Rights Commission, filed in December 2021.

“I am legally permitted to identify as female.” she said in the complaint.

Giggle responded saying that Tickle had been removed because she had been “considered male” based on her appearance in a photo she had uploaded. Giggle and its CEO Grover said they were unaware that Tickle was transgender and it did not inform their decision to ban her from the app.

Katherine Deves pulled out of the running for the vacant position in the NSW senate so she could join Giggle’s legal team to fight the case. They applied to have the matter quashed, but their claim was rejected by the judge who said the trial would be a test case for Australia’s anti-discrimination laws.

The case returns to court today for a management hearing.

OIP Staff: 03-06-2023 10:00 An earlier version of this post described the case as Giggle versus Tickle, which was incorrect as the case has been brought by Tickle. We have updated the title to improve accuracy and adjusted the text to remove the value of legal costs as this is disputed.   

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