Bumble Bans Body Shaming, Racism From Its App

Published on January 29, 2021

Popular dating and meeting app Bumble has officially banned body shaming. Bumble updated the app’s terms and conditions this week to meet this new requirement. According to Bumble’s official blog statement on the matter, language that will not be tolerated also includes, “Language that can be deemed fat-phobic, ableist, racist, colorist, homophobic or transphobic.”

What is Bumble All About?

Bumble is an Austin-based company founded by Whitney Wolfe-Herd, the co-founder of Tinder, another dating app. Wolfe-Herd is also the CEO of Bumble.

According to a letter from Wolfe-Herd on Bumble’s website, she wanted to start Bumble because, “I saw a problem I wanted to help solve. It was 2014, but so many of the smart, wonderful women in my life were still waiting around for men to ask them out, to take their numbers, or to start up a conversation on a dating app. For all the advances women had been making in workplaces and corridors of power, the gender dynamics of dating and romance still seemed so outdated. I thought, what if I could flip that on its head? What if women made the first move, and sent the first message?”

The concept behind the dating portion of the Bumble app is that only women are allowed to make the first move, or match. Anyone that a user swipes left on is rejected, but if two users swipe right on each other it’s considered a match.

At that point women have the first move privileges. If she doesn’t message the match first within 24 hours the match expires. Users can rematch with each other, but it’s up to the user whose turn it was to send a message to choose to rematch, if they didn’t send said message in time.

Bumble also has a BFF mode, which only shows users that are the same gender as you, so the two people that match in that mode can send messages to each other and don’t have to wait for the other person to send the first message.

There’s also Bumble Bizz, where users can network with other professionals in their field.

What Exactly Does The Body-Shaming Ban Mean?

Bumble defines body-shaming on their website as this.

“Body shaming means forcing your opinion of a ‘good body’ onto others. It can come in the form of sending a message to someone that’s critical of their body or health, or by stating in your Bumble bio that a certain kind of body is unacceptable or undesirable. Body shaming includes fat shaming, health shaming, criticizing skin or hair, thin shaming, unsolicited opinions, and mocking someone’s physical features.”

Any user that violates this policy by using body-shaming language on their Bumble profile or through Bumble’s chat app will get an initial warning. If the same user repeatedly uses body-shaming language they will end up being banned from Bumble. The company states that any users that want to report body-shaming language used against them can do so in-app by selecting Block & Report, Unmatch & Report, and Hide & Report.

Bumble also doesn’t tolerate any discriminatory language regarding another user’s, “race, colour, ethnicity, national origin, religion, disability, sexual orientation, gender expression, [and] gender identity.”

Katherine Stinson is an award-winning journalist and Staff Reporter at Grit Daily News, where she covers Texas and Southern states' startup and entrepreneurship news. Based in San Antonio, Texas, she also contributes to ScreenRant, Outlander TV News, and San Antonio Magazine.

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