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Bumble's "Private Detector” goes live to protect users from unsolicited nude photos

A.I. driven safety feature provides an added layer of protection for Bumble users.

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MUMBAI: The safety of people on social media and digital connection platforms is a global issue and top of mind in every household. Bullying and harassment online take many forms and the sending of unsolicited nude images is one of the most pervasive and harmful.

Bumble was launched as a direct response to this kind of abusive behaviour and the company has spent the past five years of its growth developing features to keep its community safe and secure. The latest of those features to go live is “Private Detector”, which is already providing a layer of protection for those who find themselves on the receiving end of unsolicited nude images.

The “Private Detector” functionality is simple. Once a nude image is shared within a chat, the “Private Detector” automatically blurs that image and alerts the user that they have been sent something potentially inappropriate. From there, the user can decide whether to view or block the image, and if compelled, the user can easily report the image to Bumble.

“We were always cognizant that the sending of unsolicited nude images was a critical problem, especially for young women. Our survey data confirmed that 1 in 3 women had received such an image in their lives, which is an alarming insight,” said Whitney Wolfe Herd, Bumble Founder and CEO. “The ‘Private Detector’ was designed to deter and prevent such behavior in the same manner that our other safety features are designed to combat issues like abuse, catfishing, and ghosting, and you can expect us to continue to invest heavily in technologies that champion user safety above all else.”

While the number of nude images sent on Bumble is minimal, early data indicates that “Private Detector” is a feature that users appreciate. Of the nude images captured by “Private Detector,” just over 15 percent of nude images sent to women and just over 5 percent of nude images sent to men have been reported, resulting in the users responsible for the sending of those unsolicited images being banned from Bumble.

“Private Detector” joins a suite of safety features that Bumble has deployed over the years, including a ban on guns and other weapons of violence in profile pictures, a ban on hate speech in profiles, the establishment of a global moderation team of thousands to handle user needs, the ability for users to call and video chat within Bumble without sharing phone numbers and personal data, and photo verification to eliminate catfishing.

In a parallel effort, Wolfe Herd spent the last year working with Texas state lawmakers to develop a bill that makes the sharing of unsolicited nude photos a punishable crime. Recently, the bill unanimously passed the Committee on Criminal Jurisprudence and was passed into law by the Texas State Governor on September 1, 2019.

“Safety online is a global issue of critical importance and it falls upon all of us in the social media and social networking industries to lead by example and to refuse to tolerate inappropriate behavior on our platforms. The ‘Private Detector’ and our support of this bill are just two of the many ways we’re demonstrating our commitment to making the internet safer,” added Wolfe Herd.

Bumble is a free app and is available to download in the App Store and Google Play. Bumble has over 72 million users in 150 countries and connects people across friendship, dating and professional networking.

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