Whitney Wolfe Herd Discusses Real-World Change as Sexual Image Law is Introduced

1st September marked the official introduction of Bumble’s unsolicited sexual images law in Texas. 

Residents can now be legally punished if they are caught sending an explicit picture to someone without consent via dating app, social media, AirDrop or any other form of digital communication.

The act is seen as a class C misdemeanour, the same as a speeding ticket, and culprits could be fined up to $500.

Founder and CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd was interviewed by Refinery29 to discuss the terms of House Bill 2789, and how other technology companies can use their success to have a lasting impact on real world issues.

Bumble users who send unsolicited sexual images are banned immediately, and the app has also created AI software that can detect pictures of exposed genitalia and automatically blur them.

Wolfe Herd was adamant that the laws around indecent public exposure should also be applied to the digital world as well.

She told Refinery29: “We spend all our time in this digital world and it’s basically a society with no rules. We’re calling our peers — social networks, messaging apps, and Internet companies of all kinds — to raise their standards, and use their terms and conditions to stand firmly against digital indecent exposure. 

“I want us to serve as proof: You can still drive massive profit and be a good business model while pushing the needle on safety and privacy for users. I want to see other tech companies and platforms take action based on what’s right rather than what their bottom line dictates.”

The Bumble CEO admitted that her company can only go so far to implement change, and expressed her gratitude to the lobbyists and state representatives who campaigned for the law. She also claimed that the next step is to get the bill passed at a federal level.

Read more here.