Dating app Bumble has temporarily disabled a feature allowing users to filter potential matches based on their political leanings. The company cryptically announced it had disabled the feature to “prevent misuse” after social media posts indicated some users were changing their political leanings to try to locate other users who attended the Capitol Hill protest.
The Verge reports that the dating app Bumble has temporarily disabled a feature that allowed users to filter potential matches based on their political leanings. The feature allows users to identify and filter matches with options including “Apolitical,” “Moderate,” “Liberal,” and “Conservative.”
We have temporarily removed our politics filter in the U.S. to prevent misuse. Don't worry; it will be reinstated in the future. 💛
— Bumble (@bumble) January 14, 2021
In a recent statement to Mashable, Bumble stated it had temporarily removed the feature in the U.S. to prevent “misuse and abuse.” On January 7, a Twitter user named Alia Awadallah reported that they saw “dozens” of men on dating apps that appeared to be in Washington DC on the day of the Capitol Hill protests. Awadallah suggested taking screenshots of these profiles and submitting them to the FBI as evidence.
I'm on hold with FBI and police. No idea if this will end up being useful but I feel like there's a good story there anyway, so everyone get on the apps and start screenshotting.
— Alia Awadallah (@aawadall) January 7, 2021
In a widely shared tweet, immigration attorney Allison Norris commented that a “friend of a friend” had used the Bumble feature to increase her chances of matching with those that were at Capitol Hill.
I know a friend of a friend who changed her preference on Bumble to Conservative. She’s matching with MAGA bros and they’re bragging and sending her pics and videos of them in the Capitol. She’s sending them to the FBI.
— Allison #FreeThemALL Norris (@allisonnorris) January 8, 2021
Bumble has since clarified its removal of the feature via Twitter:
We've temporarily removed our politics filter to prevent misuse. However, please rest assured that we prohibit any content that promotes terrorism or racial hatred, and we've already removed any users that have been confirmed as participants in the attack of the US Capitol.
— bumble (@BumbleSupport) January 14, 2021
In a statement, Bumble said that its service prohibits content that “encourages any illegal activity,” and that it would be cooperating with law enforcement in relation to profiles. A Bumble spokesperson said:
On January 6, we immediately ensured that our hate speech scanning and protocols addressed the attack on the U.S. Capitol and began removing any insurrection-related content from our platform.
If we see anything that would suggest someone has or is in the process of committing a potentially criminal act we will take appropriate steps with law enforcement.
Breitbart News will continue to report on the privacy and security of apps.
Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address firstname.lastname@example.org