We know the whole point of dating apps is to make a judgement: whether you find the person on the screen - pictures, bio and all - attractive. But there's a difference between that and hurtful shaming - and Bumble is introducing a new policy to prevent it happening.
Bumble, famed for its feature that requires women to make the first move, has announced it is banning body shaming in all forms on the app. Its terms and conditions now explicitly prohibit "unsolicited and derogatory comments made about someone’s appearance, body shape, size or health." And that includes "language that can be deemed fat-phobic, ableist, racist, colourist, homophobic or transphobic."
The app-makers say they want to make "a kinder and more respectful dating space," and we couldn't be any more here for it. There's enough analysis as it is that goes into choosing the photos for your dating app profile - let alone having a fear that the way you look might be harshly criticised by someone who most definitely wasn't invited to comment.
According to Bumble's research, almost a quarter of British users (23%) have been body shamed online, either on a dating app or social media. And nearly everyone surveyed (87%) agreed that dating is a space where you feel more physically judged than other areas of life - which shows the real need for measures like this to be put in place.
Anyone detected to be using body shaming language either in their profile or within the app's chat function will now be the proud recipient of a first warning for inappropriate behaviour. If they go on to ignore the warning, or if comments are deemed particularly harmful, Bumble pledges to permanently remove the individual from the app. Plus, the app's moderators also now have the power to share resources intended to help people understand how damaging shaming behaviour can be, and to learn the importance of changing their actions in future.
In a world where there is so much judgement and division, as well as online hate, it's a refreshing thought that people can now swipe for prospective partners (or friends, if Bumble BFF is more your jam) safe in the knowledge they're not going to be abused for their physical characteristics.
Go you, Bumble 🙌 .
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