Bumble stirred the ire of pro-gun activists when the company decided to ban pictures of firearms from profile photos. In a Cannes Lion panel discussion today with Hearst chief content officer Joanna Coles, Bumble founder Whitney Wolfe described the flood of harassment and threats that took place after the ban. She said some men even sent her lewd photos featuring guns.
“Our team members were getting harassed. It’s been really wild,” she said onstage, according to the New York Post. “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?”
The company reportedly decided to ban pictures of guns after the shooting in February at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Women who support gun restrictions have long faced threats and cyberbullying from pro-gun activists (see examples here and here). Bumble, of course, is not entirely staffed by women, but it does focus on empowering women within the dating paradigm.