Image: Instagram / Whitwolfeherd
Bumble founder and CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd has been threatened repeatedly after photos of guns were banned on the dating app.
The decision was made in March, following the devastating Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting and other such incidents.
“It’s polarising and we had to have police at our office for several weeks,” the entrepreneur recently said to Joanna Coles, chief content officer at Hearst Magazines, at the Cannes Lions panel.
According to Page Six, Whitney further explained, “I was getting emails saying, ‘I’m gonna show my Glock and my you know what [genitals]’ with literally a picture of the Glock and the other thing.
"It was, ‘We’re coming for you, we know where your office is.’ Our team members were getting harassed. It’s been really wild.”
A statement on the company's website about the move reads: "Online behaviour can both mirror and predict how people treat each other in the real world. Bumble has a responsibility to our users and a larger goal to encourage accountability offline…
"As mass shootings continue to devastate communities across the country, it’s time to state unequivocally that gun violence is not in line with our values, nor do these weapons belong on Bumble."
Speaking about the ban at the panel, Whitney said, “I guess if you’re pushing the limit on something, you’re going to piss someone off.”
The decision to ban gun photos was controversial even within the Bumble office itself.
“It pissed a lot of people off, but it was the right thing to do. We have a lot of people on our team that are responsible gun owners," the CEO, who also co-founded Tinder, revealed.
"I’m from Texas … Our brand values are equality, empowerment, kindness and accountability. Do guns fit that bill? No. The majority of women that die from domestic abuse a year is from guns. So why would we want to romanticize that?”
Whitney herself is no stranger to divisive moves, as some people were taken aback by Bumble when it first appeared on the dating app scene.
In case you haven't heard of the app (where have you been?), women are the ones who must message first on Bumble. The idea behind it is female empowerment – and that you don't end up with a barrage of strange texts from dudes (unless you've talked to them already).
The tech entrepreneur left Tinder in 2014 and settled a lawsuit alleging sexual harassment and discrimination. She began Bumble in December 2014.
“When I went and started Bumble as an antidote to everything I went through, it was early," she recalled.
"#MeToo had not happened, Times Up had not happened … you didn’t walk through the aisles of Target and see every T-shirt that said ‘The Future Is Female’ or ‘We Should All Be Feminists.’ The word ‘feminist’ was actually taboo.
"And so Bumble was quite polarising in 2014 … It’s really fascinating to have been a bit early to this incredible tidal wave that is now taking over culture.”