In the wake of the February 14 school shooting in Florida that left 17 dead, dating app Bumble is removing any images in its users’ profiles that feature guns or other dangerous weapons. The new policy puts those items in a category alongside nudity, fake photos, and hate speech.
“We just want to create a community where people feel at ease, where they do not feel threatened, and we just don’t see guns fitting into that equation,” Bumble founder and CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd told the New York Times (paywall). “This is not super black and white,” she said. “It’s a very tricky battle we’ve chosen to taken on, but I’d rather pursue this than just ignore it.”
Logistically, the shift means that roughly 5,000 moderators will go through new and current profiles to remove such images. Exceptions will be made for photos of members of law enforcement or the military in uniform, as well as for images that appear in users’ linked Instagram feeds. Herd told the Times she plans to eventually exclude mentions of guns in written content on Bumble as well.
The dating app, whose defining characteristic is that (in heterosexual match-ups) its female users initiate conversations, has 22 million registered users. Last year, Bumble reportedly turned down a $450 million acquisition offer from Match Group, which owns Match.com, OKCupid, and Tinder.