An artist based in Los Angeles is currently in a dispute with Bumble over several pictures of hers repeatedly taken down from Bumble. Bumble is a dating, location-based app that encourages women to initiate conversations first when matched with men.
Cali Rockowitz was confused when one of her pictures was constantly deleted from her account. It was a picture of herself in bralette and sweatpants, crouching in front of her canvas.
Somehow, the picture was constantly taken down.
Speaking to Buzzfeed News, Cali explained, “I thought it was a mistake, so I tried it a bunch more times. I emailed them, and I asked what was going on. They sent me a generic email saying I couldn’t post photos in my underwear.”
“I couldn’t believe it, that after looking at this image they thought this was offensive to users.”
Cali was surprised that Bumble has a pretty strict policy and decided to just leave it be. A few weeks later, she decided to send a slightly different image, one where her hair covers her upper body. She thought it’s less revealing and would not be taken down.
Surprise, surprise: this picture was flagged as well.
Once again, Cali decided to email them to find out the reason. She receives a more detailed explanation of why her picture was taken down:
“On Bumble, you are totally allowed to have a bikini or shirtless photo, but we ask that these photos are taken outside. If you’re indoors, it looks too much like underwear.”
Well, Cali’s response was that it was ‘asinine’ but she didn’t tell them that.
A statement from the representative was that swimsuits are okay as long as they are taken in a natural setting, like the beach, so they don’t look too much like underwear. Their reasoning was that research on most swiped pictures show these have the least chance of being swiped.
Cali continued trying to reason with them.
Her Instagram story regarding the issue went viral, and she tagged Bumble. A representative DM-ed her regarding the issue. They appeared to have a different opinion and wrote that ‘these photos shouldn’t have been moderated.’
Then, Bumble removed yet another photo of hers. One that’s been up for months.
It was a picture of herself in a black bralette, a black blazer on top coupled with a pair of loose black pants. She explained, “I’m not sure if they were doing it to make an example out of me or it really violated the terms, but the images they removed have been up there for months.”
Bumble said that the removed picture has also appeared to violate the same terms. They were removed because the team is moderating her issues and noticed her other pictures.
Her followers told her to try photoshopping her pictures so they look outdoor.
But they didn’t like that and replied, “That photo has been photoshopped, it was not originally taken outside.”
Cali argued that Bumble’s ridiculousness contradicts their claim of having women be the initiator in dating. What’s supposed to be empowering for women has become restrictive regarding how women should present themselves in a dating app.
This incident has made her ‘never want to use the app again.’ She also wishes that the team would treat this on a case-by-case basis, but removal would be much better.