Dating app Bumble announced it would ban the inclusion of guns in its users’ profile pictures, and the move is making national headlines as the country’s emotional gun control debate continues in the wake of a school shooting in Florida last month.
Because Bumble has 30 million users, its policy decisions have come to have a significant cultural impact — albeit not on the level of a Facebook or Twitter.
The company, which is based in Austin, has about 5,000 moderators who will search through new and existing profiles and flag gun-related content for removal, Bumble Founder Whitney Wolfe Herd told The New York Times.
In the interview with the Times, she acknowledged how sticky the gun control debate is — and that many gun owners are hobbyists who don’t promote violence. But she indicated she felt a need to do something.
“Compared to what’s going on with Facebook and Twitter, we take a very proactive approach,” she told the Times in a story published Monday evening. “If I could police every other social platform in the world, I would.”
In a blog post, Bumble said its policy “excludes users in military or law enforcement in uniform.”
“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,” the company wrote. “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.”
Here are a couple reactions on Twitter.
I get that folks are up in arms about guns right now, no decent person supports mass shootings. With that said, I’m not going to report photos of users with a gun simply because some of us enjoy the sporting aspect.
A moderate against censorship
— Angie (@ImAngelia) March 6, 2018
— Ashley Perna (@ashleyjperna) March 6, 2018