#cyberbullying | #cyberbully | Dating site Bumble launches guide for online safety


NEW DELHI: Women-first dating app Bumble has launched a safety guide as part of a new initiative called ‘Stand for Safety’, in partnership with public safety platform Safecity, owned by Red Dot Foundation to help women in India identify, prevent, and combat rising digital abuse.

Through this initiative, Bumble hopes to demonstrate its commitment to a zero-tolerance policy for hate, aggression or bullying of any kind, it said in a statement.

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A recent survey by the dating app had found that 83% of women in India experience online harassment of some kind, and one in three women experience on a weekly basis. Further, 70% of women believe that cyberbullying has increased since lockdown was announced in 2020. Over half (59%) of the women surveyed said they feel unsafe and just under half (48%) feel angry.

As a geographic-specific feature for the Bumble community in India, a woman can choose to use only the first initial of her name to create her profile on the app and can share her full name with connections when she feels ready, the company said. The app allows for a block and report feature against anyone demonstrating inappropriate behaviour. Another feature is able to capture, blur and alert users that they’ve been sent an unsolicited nude image making it the user’s choice to either delete, view or report the same.

“Through Bumble’s Stands for Safety initiative, we hope to equip and empower women in India with crucial information to understand and recognise, prevent and fight digital abuse..,” Priti Joshi, vice-president of global strategy and operations at Bumble said in a statement.

ElsaMarie D’Silva, founder, Red Dot Foundation said many women are silenced and intimidated in online spaces due to harassment and bullying directed towards them. “Today’s environment requires everyone to be comfortable and knowledgeable when accessing and utilising digital spaces for various aspects of life,” she said. The Red Dot Foundation works at the intersection of gender, technology, communications, data and urban planning and Safecity is its flagship program.

Mint had earlier reported that virtual dates will continue to be in favour with millennials and Gen Zs despite easing of some pandemic restrictions. A survey by Bumble had said that 40% of single Indians will opt for virtual dating in 2021, as people now look for a large degree of trust to be formed and meaningful chats to be exchanged before they meet in person.

Nearly half (47%) of the app’s dating community prefers low-key first dates in real life such as staying indoors, with services saying the covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the trend of Gen Z setting its own pace and creating its own rules.

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