Bumble removed its political filter after people said they used it to lure conservatives who were at the Capitol riot into sending incriminating evidence

Ashley Collman
·4 min read
Capitol breach
Supporters of President Donald Trump. Michael Nigro/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty
  • The dating app Bumble has temporarily removed its political-identification filter to prevent "misuse."

  • The move came after women tweeted about using the filter to find conservatives who took part in the Capitol breach and passing on evidence to law enforcement.

  • Users started to notice the political filter had been removed on Thursday, and people on Twitter criticized Bumble as appearing to protect the insurrectionists.

  • Bumble added that it removed the accounts of people who had been "confirmed as participants in the attack of the US Capitol."

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The dating app Bumble temporarily suspended its political filter in the US after multiple people tweeted about using it to find conservatives who took part in last week's Capitol insurrection and turn them into law enforcement.

On January 7, a day after the pro-Trump riot, Alia Awadallah, a woman in Washington, DC, tweeted: "There are DOZENS of men on DC dating apps right now who were clearly here for the insurrection attempt.

"Some say it directly, others are obvious from MAGA clothing, location tags, etc. Is that info useful at all for law enforcement?"

When someone later sent her the FBI tips website, Awadallah said she had submitted some evidence.

Since the attack on the Capitol, the FBI has been asking the public for "tips and digital media depicting rioting and violence" in and around the complex on January 6. As of Wednesday, just over 100 people had been arrested.

Another Twitter user, Allison Norris, responded to Awadallah, saying that she knew of someone who had changed her Bumble profile to conservative to find Republicans who took part in the storming of the Capitol.

Read also: 'It was degrading': Black Capitol custodial staff talk about what it felt like to clean up the mess left by violent pro-Trump white supremacists

"She's matching with the MAGA bros and they're bragging and sending her pics and videos of them in the Capitol. She's sending them to the FBI," Norris said.

Norris' tweet was liked more than 27,000 times as of Friday morning, with John Sipher, a former CIA spy, commenting: "Well played."

Another person responded: "Get in girls. We're going hunting."

On Thursday, Bumble users started to notice the political-identification filter had been removed from the dating app.

The company responded by saying it had been temporarily taken away "to prevent misuse," adding that it had "already removed any users that have been confirmed as participants in the attack of the US Capitol."

Read more: Joe Biden is hiring about 4,000 political staffers to work in his administration. Here's how 3 experts say you can boost your chances of getting one of those jobs.

After The Independent reported on Bumble's move, Norris shared a link to the article, saying: "It looks like I broke Bumble?"

She also criticized the company, saying in reference to the insurrectionists: "I guess Bumble was already broken if it's so quick to protect terrorists." That sentiment was shared by some other Twitter users.

When reached for comment on Friday, Bumble issued a statement to Insider, explaining that in the days after the attack on the Capitol, they noticed an "uptick in users using the politics filter in a manner contrary to our terms and conditions, including users who have used our platform to spread insurrectionist content or who have attempted to organize and incite terrorism."

"On January 13, we took the action to temporarily remove our politics filter in an effort to prevent that kind of misuse and abuse while we took the steps necessary to ensure we had the proper moderation tools and protocols in place," Bumble said.

The company said it has since turned the politics filter back on in the US and that they will be monitoring activity through the inauguration, which the FBI has said may be the target of further armed protests.

"Our team has an increased focus on the DC area and across the United States and are closely monitoring all activity now and through inauguration. Where our AI technology flags photos, hate symbols or text content that promotes the insurrection or related activities, those are removed, with repeated offenses or more extreme content resulting in a user being banned," the statement read.

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