In The Wake Of Charlottesville, Dating Apps Take A Stand Against Hate

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Dating apps are proving to be a surprisingly loud voice in the fight against hate, harassment, and cruelty.

First, Tinder spoke out for animal rights by asking users to remove photos taken with tigers, which are often mistreated in the name of letting tourists take selfies with the world’s wildest inhabitants.

Then, OkCupid took a stand against harassment and unwanted, sexually explicit messages by introducing a Member Pledge to remind users to treat each other with kindness and respect.

Now, following the violence and tragic death of Heather Heyer in Charlottesville, Virginia, dating services are again stepping up to ensure their users can meet in a safe and welcoming space, free from hatred and discrimination.

Bumble joined forces with the Anti-Defamation League to announce a zero-tolerance policy against misogynist, abusive, and inappropriate behavior.

“Hate speech, racism, and bigotry are intolerable realities that we must all come together to take action against,” said a blog post announcing the partnership. “Bumble is a community of kindness and empowerment. This type of behavior goes against our mission as a company and is never welcome on our platform."

Bumble made a donation to the Anti-Defamation League and pledged to "proactively remove and ban all forms of hate speech and symbols," calling on users to report any offensive behavior they witness.

The company’s strong stance comes after it was the victim of harassment from groups with white supremacist affiliations.

"Last week, a neo-Nazi media site published an article to their community urging them to call and email our team with harassing statements, given Bumble’s stance towards promoting women’s empowerment,” continued the statement. “We won’t stand for being bullied, and we will always make every effort to protect our incredible users from cyber bullies."

OkCupid is also working hard to keep hate off their platform. The company announced on Twitter that they’d discovered white supremacist Chris Cantwell - famous for appearing in Vice’s Charlottesville documentary and crying on YouTube - was a user, and promptly banned him for life.

"We were alerted by another dater on OkCupid who had been contacted by Cantwell recently," OKCupid told Mashable.

Elie Seidman, OkCupid’s CEO, explained why they felt they had to be open about the decision:

"We’ve been public about kicking Cantwell off of OkCupid because of our responsibility to be clear about the human values of our community – who we’re for and the kind of person to person interaction we stand for. The formula for this one was easy: 'Nazi or supremacist == bad.'”

Like Bumble, OkCupid also asked users to continue reporting “people involved in hate groups.” We would not be surprised to see more dating services follow suit as the dialogue around discrimination and hate speech continues.