The dating app Bumble has disabled its politics filter after it was supposedly used to reveal the identities of Capitol rioters, Mashable has reported. Bumble support posted on Twitter that it “temporarily removed our politics filter to prevent misuse,” adding that it “prohibits any content that promotes terrorism or racial hatred.” Bumble has promised in another tweet that it will “be reinstated in the future.” It also stated that it has removed users confirmed as participants in the US Capitol attack.
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
After the Capitol riots, the FBI asked the public to help identify participants. That led amateur sleuths to pore through apps, including dating sites like Bumble. “There are DOZENS of men on DC dating apps right now who were clearly here for the insurrection attempt yesterday," tweeted NextGen co-chair Alia Awadallah. "Some say it directly, others are obvious from MAGA clothing, location tags, etc."
Another user, immigration attorney Allison Norris, replied. “I know a friend of a friend who changed her preference on Bumble to conservative,” she tweeted. “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.”
While that statement hasn’t been confirmed by any means, a user quote-tweeted it and tagged Bumble. Shortly afterward, its Twitter support replied that it would remove the politics filter to curtail “misuse.” Bumble gave the following statement to Mashable:
Bumble prohibits content that encourages any illegal activity including terrorism and the incitement of violence. Additionally, the spreading of misinformation, such as the certified results of the U.S. Election, is prohibited.
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.
The company added that it would ban any AI-detected content promoting the insurrection, promising bans for repeat offenses or extreme content. Still, the idea of eliminating the politics filter didn’t go down well with everyone. “It looks like I broke Bumble? But I guess Bumble was already broken if it’s so quick to protect terrorists,” Norris tweeted in response.