Bumble has started a new campaign in the UK and is trying to persuade the government to make cyberflashing a crime.
Cyberflashing refers to the act of sending unsolicited nude images and videos on dating, social media and messaging apps, as well as via other technological means, such as AirDrop or Bluetooth.
The issue unduly affects women, with YouGov research showing that around 40% of millennial women have received an unwanted picture of a man’s genitals. An internal survey from Bumble found that the figure for Gen Z women is almost 50%.
This is why the female-first dating and social app has launched the #DigitalFlashingIsFlashing campaign in England and Wales. It is calling for cyberflashing to be outlawed in the same way that physical flashing is.
Scotland ruled that it is “an offence to cause a person to look at a sexual image without their consent” back in 2009.
Bumble is now working on having cross-party Parliamentary consultations alongside UN Women and other leading organisations that campaign on behalf of women’s issues. It is also calling on its community to share their own experiences on social media, in order to highlight the overall extent of the problem.
Whitney Wolfe Herd played an integral role in getting a law passed in Bumble’s home state of Texas in 2019. People who are found guilty of sending an unsolicited sexual image can now face a fine of $500 and she is now trying to get a bill passed on the federal level.
The ‘Private Detector’ software was introduced to Bumble in the same year, which warns users if they might have received an inappropriate picture. They can then choose to view it or delete it and report the sender.
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