Back in March, Bumble - the mainly dating but also networking and friending app - made the decision to ban photos of guns from their platform. The move 'pissed a lot of people off', explained CEO and founder Whitney Wolfe, and she was threatened and harassed as a result.
While not such a common occurrence on the British dating scene, over in America where gun-ownership is both legal and vigorously popular in some states, swiping past someone brandishing a firearm was A Thing.
In their statement earlier this year Bumble explained that the move was in part prompted by the devastating school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. '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', it read. The organisation also went on to donate $100,000 to March For Their Lives, too.
While I'm sure the move may seems logical to many of us, Bumble's moderation of photos including guns was met with controversy both within the company and from external opposition. According to reports by Page Six, Wolfe explained that the extent of the backlash she and her team received while speaking on a panel in Cannes earlier this week.
'It’s polarizing and we had to have police at our office for several weeks', Wolfe said. 'I was getting emails saying, "I’m gonna show my Glock and my you know what [genitals]" with literally a picture of the Glock and the other thing. It was, "We’re coming for you, we know where your office is." Our team members were getting harassed. It’s been really wild.'
Unrest was felt within the company too. Wolfe explained that there are many responsible gun owners on her team, however 'Our brand values are equality, empowerment, kindness and accountability. Do guns fit that bill? No. The majority of women that die from domestic abuse a year is from guns. So why would we want to romanticize that?'.
While many of us on this side of the pond may struggle to identify with America's dangerously complicated relationship with guns, what _is_ straight-forward to understand and appreciate however, is Bumble's direct response to yet another horrific mass-shooting and their refusal to glorify the procession of guns in such a climate.
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