Users can no longer boast about the firepower they’re packing.
President Trump may not be able to bring himself to cut ties with gun groups but dating app Bumble has no such qualms.
The company announced new measures last night that will prevent its nearly 30 million users from uploading photos that display firearm imagery in any capacity. A 5000-person moderation team will also begin the process of combing through existing profiles and wiping any pictures in violation of the new regulations.
“In the past, when we’ve had an opportunity to make our platform safer, we’ve taken action, banning hate speech and inappropriate sexual content from the Bumble app,” read a statement posted on Bumble’s website yesterday.
“As mass shootings continue to devastate communities across the country, it’s time to state unequivocally that gun violence is not in line with our values, nor do these weapons belong on Bumble.”
The move follows fresh calls for gun control reform in the US, in the wake of the deadly Valentine’s Day shooting at a Florida school that claimed the lives of 17 teenagers. Survivors of the tragedy have since kickstarted a movement to push government action on the contentious debate over who has the right to bear arms, which has raged fiercely over the last two decades. Despite a recent vote by the Florida Congress not to ban AR-15s – the type of assault rifle legally purchased and used by 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz to murder his peers in the Parkland shooting – student organizers are forging ahead with planned nationwide protests for 24 March, under the banner ‘March for Our Lives’.
Bumble says it will be donating $100,000 to March for Our Lives, joining other businesses such as Gucci – who contributed $500,000 – and celebrities like George and Amal Clooney and Oprah Winfrey, who also pledged $500,000 in support. Fellow celebrities promoting the cause include Chrissy Teigen and her husband John Legend, and popstar Justin Bieber who recently tweeted “Help these kids and sign their petition now,” followed by a link to the document.
Since 2013, there have been nearly 300 school shootings in the US, according to gun reform lobbyist organisation, Everytown, averaging nearly one on-campus shooting a week.
Bumble’s decision to remove guns from its platform was part of “creating a community where people feel at ease [and] do not feel threatened,” said CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd, speaking to The New York Times.
“We just don’t see guns fitting into that equation,” she added.
The 28-year-old founder of the dating app – and co-founder of its competitor, Tinder – acknowledged the struggle was an uphill one.
“This is not super black and white,” she said, explaining that the other life-threatening weapons, like knives, would also be banned and mentions of guns would also be erased from text bios too. “It’s a very tricky battle we’ve chosen to taken on, but I’d rather pursue this than just ignore it. This is not a politically driven decision, nor a decision driven by hatred of people’s personal beliefs or choices. Not everyone’s going to love us for it, but it’s the right thing to do.”