Thursday 22 February 2018

Dating apps make a stand against neo-Nazis

Shafi Musaddique

Dating apps are booting off neo-Nazis and white supremacists from their platforms in the wake of violence in the US.

OKCupid said it had found a White supremacist using its platform and within 10 minutes of verifying him, banned the user for life.

The dating app named the White supremacist as Chris Cantwell via its official Twitter account on Thursday.

In a statement, chief executive Elie Seidman said: "We’ve been public about kicking Cantwell off of OkCupid because of our responsibility to be clear about the human values of our community – who we’re for and the kind of person to person interaction we stand for. The formula for this one was easy: 'Nazi or supremacist = bad.'"

Read more: Airbnb bans white supremacists from making reservations

OkCupid also announced it would be donating to a Charlottesville victim relief group supporting victims of attacks on 12 August.

Fellow matchmaking app Bumble also announced plans to deal with hate speech in the wake of Charlottesville by donating to the Anti-Defamation League, pledging a "zero tolerance policy against misogynist, abusive, and inappropriate behaviour".

Bumble said in a statement "it has recently been on the receiving end of cyber hate, "stemming from groups with white supremacist affiliations".

"Last week, a neo-Nazi media site published an article to their community urging them to call and email our team with harassing statements, given Bumble’s stance towards promoting women’s empowerment."

It called on Bumble users to "ban hateful speech and activities on our platforms".

Both dating apps follow in the footsteps of property rental start-up Airbnb permanently banning White supremacists from making reservations and hires.

Airbnb’s co-founder Nathan Blecharczyk said on Tuesday that "the hate displayed [this week] has been shocking".

"We make every one of our users sign a pledge when they sign up that they will not discriminate and exhibit hatred", he said. "Whenever we become aware of such examples they are permanently banned from platform."

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