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Why it matters that this dating app took a stand for one of its users.

Online harassment is a real problem. This dating app is trying to fix it.

Why it matters that this dating app took a stand for one of its users.

Online dating can be pretty hit or miss, as this chat between Ashley and Connor shows.

Sometimes people click; other times, they don't. In the case of Ashley and Connor, two users of the Bumble app, it's pretty safe to say they didn't hit it off. Ashley initiated contact with Connor, trying to make small talk about work — as one does.



Screenshots from Bumble.

It didn't exactly go well. Connor took offense to Ashley's question, "What do you do?" and it escalated from there.

Put off by the (pretty standard) question, Connor tore into Ashley, accusing her of "shamelessly attempting to pry into [his] career" and his earning power.



Screenshots from Bumble.

Whoa, buddy! Later in the conversation, he called her an "entitled, gold-digging whore," and accused her of pushing "this neo-liberal, Beyonce, feminist cancer which plagues society" on him before putting her down for presumably making less money than him.


Screenshots from Bumble.

It was awkward, pretty uncomfortable, and sadly, pretty common.

According to a 2013 Pew Research survey, 42% of women on online dating sites reported receiving "uncomfortable or bothersome" messages. Bumble tries to make this better by requiring that women send the first message. In doing this, they hope to sidestep some of this sort of harassment.

Image from Bumble, used with permission.

But after that particular exchange got posted to Twitter, the team at Bumble decided to craft an open letter for Connor and guys like him. It was awesome.

The whole thing can be read on Bumble's company blog, but here's a pretty choice section:

"While you may view this as 'neo-liberal, Beyonce, feminist-cancer,' and rant about the personal wounds you are trying to heal from classic 'entitled gold digging whores,' we are going to keep working. We are going to expand our reach and make sure that women everywhere receive the message that they are just as empowered in their personal lives as they are in the workplace. We are going to continue to build a world that makes small-minded, misogynist boys like you feel outdated."

They ended the note by telling Connor they hope he comes around, but that for the meantime, he's blocked from using the app. Boom.

GIF from C-SPAN.

Bumble's message was about so much more than just Ashley and Connor. It was about what's wrong with dating culture as a whole.

"The entire exchange made our skin crawl," a Bumble spokesperson told Upworthy. "He so blatantly represents the misogynist voice that argues against equality, and in turn, holds back anyone wanting to be treated as an equal. We feel like, as a society, we should be past the point of sexism. We know as an app, we can only do so much, but we are taking every opportunity we can to have a cultural impact and shed light on the right way to treat people."

Image from Bumble, used with permission.

They explained that the company's goal (aside from, you know, helping people land dates) is to fight online harassment and hold people accountable for their actions.

"Our hope is that by highlighting negative behavior, we can somehow, at least in a small way, promote kindness and show that being friendly, upbeat and nice actually gets people a higher chance of getting a date through our app."

"We are trying to level the playing field for women and in turn, take the pressure off of men's stereotypical roles in dating relationships. Our hope is that by highlighting negative behavior, we can somehow, at least in a small way, promote kindness and show that being friendly, upbeat, and nice actually gets people a higher chance of getting a date through our app."

No one should have to endure that kind of harassment and abuse. Not in person, not online — not even in dating apps. Thankfully, the Bumbles of the world are trying to make that a reality.

Courtesy of Verizon
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If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

When the COVID-19 pandemic socially distanced the world and pushed off the 2020 Olympics, we knew the games weren't going to be the same. The fact that they're even happening this year is a miracle, but without spectators and the usual hustle and bustle surrounding the events, it definitely feels different.

But it's not just the games themselves that have changed. The coverage of the Olympics has changed as well, including the unexpected addition of un-expert, uncensored commentary from comedian Kevin Hart and rapper Snoop Dogg on NBC's Peacock.

In the topsy-turvy world we're currently living in, it's both a refreshing and hilarious addition to the Olympic lineup.

Just watch this clip of them narrating an equestrian event. (Language warning if you've got kiddos nearby. The first video is bleeped, but the others aren't.)

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