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How Bumble uses technology to fight body shaming

Earlier this month, Bumble conducted a survey of over 1,400 single Australians to find out their experiences with body shaming, and while the results are disappointing, it’s perhaps no surprise that:

– 45% of respondents said that someone they have dated has made an unsolicited comment about their body either in person or online.

– 64% of respondents stated that people are more likely to make unsolicited comments about their body online.

– 82% of respondents feel that they are more likely to feel physically judged while dating compared than other areas of life.

Being an app that champions equitable relationships and kindness and respect, Bumble is working to hold its users accountable for their actions, having zero tolerance for hate, aggression, or bullying.

Here are some of the features that Bumble utilises to fight body shaming, unwarranted behaviour, and other 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.

– The app uses automated safeguards to detect comments and images that go against its guidelines and terms and conditions, which can then be escalated to a human moderator to review. Bumble users can also report someone for body shaming within the app’s Block + Report tool.

– 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 behavior 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 behavior to be less harmful to others in the future. Badoo, which is operated by Bumble Inc., is also rolling out 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 2017, the company partnered with the Anti-Defamation League to ban all forms of hate speech, hate symbols and harassment. This was followed by a ban on photos with guns for people who are not law enforcement or veterans after a number of U.S. shootings. 

– 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. 

So, for users of dating apps, what are the problems you face when dating online, and what would you like to see more of to make this space a safe place? Email us: editor@idealog.co.nz.

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