Bumble Founder Threatened After Banning Gun Pics From The Platform

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In the wake of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in February, Bumble took a swift stand against gun violence. The company announced via Instagram that images featuring firearms and other deadly weapons would no longer be permitted on its platforms.

“We were founded with safety, respect and kindness in mind,” states the post caption. “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.”

Bumble hired a team of 5000 moderators to enforce the ban and donated $100,000 to support March For Our Lives.

Responses to the announcement ran the gamut from enthusiastically supportive to vehemently against. During a recent Cannes Lions panel, Bumble founder Whitney Wolfe Herd discussed the consequences of the decision and revealed exactly how contentious the issue was - both within the company and without.

“It’s polarising and we had to have police at our office for several weeks,” she told moderator Joanna Coles, chief content officer at Hearst Magazines. “I was getting emails saying, ‘We’re coming for you, we know where your office is.’ Our team members were getting harassed. It’s been really wild.”

Bumble employees themselves were split on the issue. “It pissed a lot of people off, but it was the right thing to do,” Herd continued. “We have a lot of people on our team that are responsible gun owners. I’m from Texas… 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?”

Herd is no stranger to controversy. When she left Tinder in 2014, a company she co-founded alongside several others, she filed a lawsuit against the app’s parent company, Match Group. The suit alleged that Herd’s fellow executives and co-founders Sean Rad and Justin Mateen had engaged in sexual harassment and discrimination, and that Tinder's corporate supervisor, Sam Yagan, knowingly did nothing to stop it.

Bumble’s basic premise - that women must make the first move - proved to be another point of contention for some.

“When I went and started Bumble as an antidote to everything I went through, it was early,” she told Page Six. “#MeToo had not happened, Times Up had not happened … you didn’t walk through the aisles of Target and see every t-shirt that said ‘The Future Is Female’ or ‘We Should All Be Feminists.’ The word ‘feminist’ was actually taboo. And so Bumble was quite polarizing in 2014… It’s really fascinating to have been a bit early to this incredible tidal wave that is now taking over culture.”

As she did then, Herd intends to stand her ground.

“This is not about discriminating against anyone who has political beliefs one way or the other. This is us saying that we’re going to lay the groundwork for our ecosystem, and we don’t want violent weaponry to have a place here,” she said in an interview with TIME. “We will always put our values above our bottom line. End of story.”

To find out more about this dating service, please read our review of the Bumble app.