Bumble, the women-first dating and networking app, has announced that it has banned body shaming. The app is updating its terms and conditions to explicitly ban unsolicited and derogatory comments made about someone’s appearance, body shape, size or health. This includes language that can be deemed fat-phobic, ableist, racist, colourist, homophobic or transphobic.
This change makes Bumble one of the first dating apps to explicitly moderate body shaming language, continuing to create a safer, kinder and more respectful space to make healthy and equitable connections. The app uses automated safeguards to detect comments and images that go against its guidelines, terms and conditions, which can then be escalated to a human moderator to review.
The company is also updating guidelines for its content moderators to provide specific guidance around body shaming. People who use body shaming language in their profile or through the app’s chat function will receive a warning for their inappropriate behaviour and repeated incidents or particularly harmful comments will result in being banned from the platform. Bumble moderators also have the ability to share resources that are intended to help the reported individual learn how to change their behaviour to be less harmful to others in the future.
“At Bumble, we have always been clear on our mission to create a kinder, safer, respectful and equitable space on the internet, and our zero-tolerance policy for racist, harassing and hate-driven speech is an important part of that. We believe in being explicit when it comes to the kind of behaviour that is not welcome on our platforms and we’ve made it clear that body shaming is not acceptable on Bumble,” said Priti Joshi, VP of Strategy at Bumble.
“Our moderation team will review each report and take the appropriate action. We always want to lead with education and give our community a chance to learn and improve. However, we will not hesitate to permanently remove someone who consistently goes against our guidelines.”
Earlier this month, Bumble surveyed* over 2700 single Indians to find out how body shaming has affected their lives. The stark findings include:
Bumble users can also report someone for body shaming within the app using its Block + Report tool. Bumble is also encouraging their community to report bad behaviour through their in-app reporting to enforce this specific set of guidelines.
Bumble has also made it easy for people to block and report anyone whose behaviour goes against the company’s guidelines, even if they were just simply made to feel uncomfortable by someone. Bumble users can also visit the app’s Safety+Wellbeing Center for more resources to support them as they look to connect online.
As part of this change, Bumble is also reviewing its photo moderation policy. In 2016, the company banned shirtless bathroom mirror selfies and swimsuit and bra photos taken indoors. The company is in the process of reviewing and updating its photo guidelines.
In 2019, Bumble introduced Private Detector, a feature that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to automatically detect and blur unsolicited nude images. The feature then alerts the recipient who can choose to view, delete, or report the image.
*Bumble in-app survey in January 2021 to 14,571 people across the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia and India.