‘Vague’ norms confuse users of social media apps | #tinder | #pof

Many users find their photos and posts taken down without any clear reason assigned.


New Delhi: A 31-year-old artist based in Los Angeles is disputing dating application Bumble›s photo policy after several of her photos were taken down for violating the community guidelines. According to reports, Cali Rockowitz›s had put a photo of herself in sweatpants and bralette in her art studio next to a canvas. The company took down the photo citing that “underwear” photos are not allowed on the app. This happened to her not just once, but multiple times.

“We banned shirtless bathroom mirror selfies in response to feedback from our Bumble community after our research showed that profiles including those kinds of photos were the most swiped left,” the app said in a statement. “As part of that overall policy, our photo guidelines prohibit photos of people indoors wearing swimsuits or underwear.” The statement continued, “Swimsuit photos are acceptable if you’re outside by the pool or on the beach as you’re in a natural setting to be wearing a swimsuit.”

Several users of the dating app told The Sunday Guardian that for a company like Bumble, which markets itself as empowering women to make the first move on a dating app, this is quite “regressive”.

Rohit (name changed on request), a Bumble user, told The Sunday Guardian that he posted a shirtless photo and it was taken down by the dating app.

“The photo had nothing explicit, according to me. I see so many guys posting similar photos. They took down my post and said that the photo violates community guidelines. I still don’t know why it was removed,” he said.

Such issues are not just limited to Bumble. People have faced similar instances in other social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Tinder, Twitter, among others.

“My whole account was banned by Tinder. I still don’t know why. One day, I just opened the app and they stated due to a violation of the community guidelines, they are banning my profile. Before this, they had removed one of my photos as it had a ‘bold’ painting too,” said Pooja (name changed on request), a user on a dating app, Tinder.

Radha Vekhande, a former Facebook user, told The Sunday Guardian that her account was disabled, and despite several attempts, she still cannot access her account and doesn’t know why it happened.

“I have been using Facebook since 2011 and been a really active member, as good as three posts a day, including a statue, a photograph and sharing few quotes, news, or memes. In the entire span, never have I ever violated any community guideline by writing something vulgar or hateful in any manner, but suddenly one day, I couldn’t log in to my account and it said your account has been disabled. I am still wondering why did it happen at all,” Vekhande said.

Several users also said that they are also confused about the kind of posts that violate community guidelines of the social media platforms. It is noteworthy that there are also many sexual photos and videos posted on platforms like Instagram and Twitter and are being widely liked and shared.

The Sunday Guardian tried to reach out to Twitter and Tinder, but they refused to comment on this matter. Facebook and Bumble didn’t respond.


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