Bumble is trying to make its apps safe spaces for meeting new people, and that extends to real-life meetups. The latest community guidelines (which also apply to Badoo and Bumble For Friends) take aim at ghosting or people failing to turn up for pre-arranged meetups.
The guidelines "discourage no-show behavior through disallowing the act of not turning up to an in-person meet up despite clear plans agreed by both parties," Bumble said. It claims its the first dating platform to "take a stance" on users over the issue, noting that according to experts, being stood up or ghosted can "sometimes have a profound impact on a person’s mental health, leading to feelings of depression, anxiety and deflated self-esteem."
Ghosting and no-showing IRL meets are now classed as bullying and abusive conduct under the updated policies. For now, it seems Bumble will rely on user reports to enforce these rules. "At this time, members can report bad behavior in our apps," a Bumble spokesperson said. "Once an incident is reported, a human moderator will then fact-check the information before taking action."
Victim blaming (such as shaming someone for being a survivor of sexual assault) is outlawed across the three apps as well. Bumble says this is an industry-first measure that's part of its efforts to foster "a community that is safe and promotes mutual respect." The updated bullying and abusive conduct policy includes clarified language related to the platform's ban on doxxing.
Many services take action against illicit off-platform activity — Bumble's no-show policy is one of those — so it may be the case that Bumble will take action against those who victim-blame or doxx users outside of its apps. If someone posts Bumble screenshots on X/Twitter to attack a victim and Bumble finds out, it might take action against the offender's account on its platforms.
One other problem Bumble is targeting with the latest community guidelines is the use of bots. From now on, Bumble, Badoo and Bumble For Friends "prohibit any attempts to artificially influence connections, matching, conversations or engagement through the use of automation or scripting." So, anyone caught using ChatGPT to try and seem interesting after making a match might not stay on Bumble for very long.
The same goes for those who use any of the company's apps to promote an OnlyFans page or profiles on similar services. There's now "a blanket ban on the promotion of adult content in profiles, including attempts to sell, advertise, or buy adult sexual content." The goal is to try and crack down on this kind of spam, which appears all too often in dating apps.
Bumble said it will continue to update the guidelines to deal with "emerging risks and potential harms that may occur from new behaviors." The company notes that it uses automated safeguards to tackle guideline violations before users report them, including instances of "harassment, identity-based hate and other inappropriate content." So far this year, Bumble has blocked more than 8.2 million accounts across its apps, most of which were detected and removed by its automated systems.
Update, August 31st, 2023, 3:20PM ET: This story has been updated to include a clarification from Bumble on ghosting/no-show enforcement.