This dating app is promoting a safer country by banning photos with guns in them (Image via Entrepreneur)
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This dating app is promoting a safer country by banning photos with guns in them (Image via Entrepreneur)

While the government won’t address the issues of gun laws, Bumble’s CEO, Whitney Wolfe, will.

With over 21 million users, Bumble stands out inimitably amongst other popular dating apps and platforms. It started out in Dec. 2014 as an app for dating where women make the first move.

Since then, it has expanded beyond romantic relationships. The app’s functions include “Bumble BFF,” where users can find new female friends, and “Bumble Bizz,” where one can network with possible future employers and team members.

Bumble is the first app of its kind to incorporate these different connection opportunities on one platform. In addition, the rule that females make the first move turns the archaic dating world upside down.

In keeping with their goals of making positive social changes, the company announced that they will place a ban on photos with guns in them as a response to the recent mass shootings.

On Monday, the company announced on their blog “The Beehive,” they would begin to moderate posts of photos containing guns in them — excluding military or law enforcement personnel in uniform. Bumble’s new change exemplifies their continued social activism. Guns have no place in their values, so they will not display any images that support gun use.

“Bumble was founded with safety in mind. From the start, our mission has been to build a social network rooted in respect and kindness…Bumble has a responsibility to our users and a larger goal to encourage accountability offline,” the company said.

“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. 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 latest mass shooting in Parkland, Florida propelled this movement. 17 people died and 16 were injured, making the Parkland shooting one of the world’s deadliest school massacres.

In response to the tragedy, the brave survivors at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School created the pro-gun control organization “March For Our Lives,” a movement inspired and now led by survivors of school shootings across the country.

In their mission statement, the organization calls for a change in gun laws to keep young people safe in schools. With the sheer frequency of mass shootings in America, students across the country live in fear every day. It’s entirely possible that any day at school could be their last.

“The mission and focus of ‘March For Our Lives’ is to demand that a comprehensive and effective bill be immediately brought before Congress to address these gun issues,” the organization said. “No special interest group, no political agenda is more critical than timely passage of legislation to effectively address the gun violence issues that are rampant in our country.”

In the same blog post discussing the ban on guns in photos, Bumble announced that they will be donating $100,000 to “March For Our Lives.” The company supports the values that the movement is promoting and hopes for a non-violent future.

Of course, politicians have responded to this latest massacre with the same narrative they spew after every shooting. The narrative goes something like this: “Now is not the time to speak of gun-control. We must grieve in solidarity for the victims and families affected.”

Nobody can deny the truth in the latter half of that statement. The former half, however, is both offensive and illogical. What better time to discuss gun-control? By regulating who could get their hands on a firearm, the government could ensure that there would be no future victims. No more families would have to suffer the loss of their children.

While the government won’t address the issues of gun laws, Bumble’s CEO, Whitney Wolfe, will. In an interview with Time Magazine, Wolfe shared the motives behind the ban.

“[Bumble is] a mechanism to connect… We don’t want guns to be a part of that conversation. We don’t want guns to be romanticized. It was time to take a stand,” she said.

When confronted about any possible political motives behind Bumble’s donation of $100,000 to “March For Our Lives,” Wolfe responded by saying that this issue goes beyond any Republican/Democrat debate.

Instead, it is simply a matter of human ethics. She explained that Bumble employs people from all across the spectrum of the gun-control debate; in the end, they simply came to the conclusion that safety is what matters most.

Many people on Twitter, especially women, praised the company for their decision. They also criticized other dating apps and platforms for not following suit. Many women recounted frightening instances where men with guns in their photos harassed them online. They expressed gratitude that they could safely use a social platform where that wouldn’t be a possibility.

A number of people pointed out that the only major social platform that expels anyone who uses hate-speech, has a zero tolerance policy for sexual harassment and bans guns in photos has a female CEO.

The creation of Bumble in 2014 was itself a movement of social activism. Since the traditional dating scene usually depends on men to step up first, the dating app made a point of giving women all the power as a means of promoting gender equality.

As a firm supporter of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, Wolfe has always found ways to support the betterment of society through Bumble. Her implementation of Bumble’s ban of photos with guns, along with the company’s donation to “March For Our Lives,” support the idea of a safer country. In addition, it promotes the company’s values of respect and kindness.

March For Our Lives will take to the streets of Washington D.C. to demand a change on March 24.

Writer Profile

Sarah Marchan

University of Texas at San Antonio

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