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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.

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 We are going to continue to build a world that makes small-minded, misogynist boys like you feel outdated."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.

Pop Culture

Artist uses AI to create ultra realistic portraits of celebrities who left us too soon

What would certain icons look like if nothing had happened to them?

Mercury would be 76 today.

Some icons have truly left this world too early. It’s a tragedy when anyone doesn’t make it to see old age, but when it happens to a well-known public figure, it’s like a bit of their art and legacy dies with them. What might Freddie Mercury have created if he were granted the gift of long life? Bruce Lee? Princess Diana?

Their futures might be mere musings of our imagination, but thanks to a lot of creativity (and a little tech) we can now get a glimpse into what these celebrities might have looked like when they were older.

Alper Yesiltas, an Istanbul-based lawyer and photographer, created a photography series titled “As If Nothing Happened,” which features eerily realistic portraits of long gone celebrities in their golden years. To make the images as real looking as possible, Yesiltas incorporated various photo editing programs such as Adobe Lightroom and VSCO, as well as the AI photo-enhancing software Remini.

“The hardest part of the creative process for me is making the image feel ‘real’ to me,” Yesiltas wrote about his passion project. “The moment I like the most is when I think the image in front of me looks as if it was taken by a photographer.”

Yesiltas’ meticulousness paid off, because the results are uncanny.

Along with each photo, Yesiltas writes a bittersweet message “wishing” how things might have gone differently … as if nothing happened.
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All images provided by Adewole Adamson

It begins with more inclusive conversations at a patient level

True

Adewole Adamson, MD, of the University of Texas, Austin, aims to create more equity in health care by gathering data from more diverse populations by using artificial intelligence (AI), a type of machine learning. Dr. Adamson’s work is funded by the American Cancer Society (ACS), an organization committed to advancing health equity through research priorities, programs and services for groups who have been marginalized.

Melanoma became a particular focus for Dr. Adamson after meeting Avery Smith, who lost his wife—a Black woman—to the deadly disease.

melanoma,  melanoma for dark skin Avery Smith (left) and Adamson (sidenote)

This personal encounter, coupled with multiple conversations with Black dermatology patients, drove Dr. Adamson to a concerning discovery: as advanced as AI is at detecting possible skin cancers, it is heavily biased.

To understand this bias, it helps to first know how AI works in the early detection of skin cancer, which Dr. Adamson explains in his paper for the New England Journal of Medicine (paywall). The process uses computers that rely on sets of accumulated data to learn what healthy or unhealthy skin looks like and then create an algorithm to predict diagnoses based on those data sets.

This process, known as supervised learning, could lead to huge benefits in preventive care.

After all, early detection is key to better outcomes. The problem is that the data sets don’t include enough information about darker skin tones. As Adamson put it, “everything is viewed through a ‘white lens.’”

“If you don’t teach the algorithm with a diverse set of images, then that algorithm won’t work out in the public that is diverse,” writes Adamson in a study he co-wrote with Smith (according to a story in The Atlantic). “So there’s risk, then, for people with skin of color to fall through the cracks.”

Tragically, Smith’s wife was diagnosed with melanoma too late and paid the ultimate price for it. And she was not an anomaly—though the disease is more common for White patients, Black cancer patients are far more likely to be diagnosed at later stages, causing a notable disparity in survival rates between non-Hispanics whites (90%) and non-Hispanic blacks (66%).

As a computer scientist, Smith suspected this racial bias and reached out to Adamson, hoping a Black dermatologist would have more diverse data sets. Though Adamson didn’t have what Smith was initially looking for, this realization ignited a personal mission to investigate and reduce disparities.

Now, Adamson uses the knowledge gained through his years of research to help advance the fight for health equity. To him, that means not only gaining a wider array of data sets, but also having more conversations with patients to understand how socioeconomic status impacts the level and efficiency of care.

“At the end of the day, what matters most is how we help patients at the patient level,” Adamson told Upworthy. “And how can you do that without knowing exactly what barriers they face?”

american cancer society, skin cacner treatment"What matters most is how we help patients at the patient level."https://www.kellydavidsonstudio.com/

The American Cancer Society believes everyone deserves a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer—regardless of how much money they make, the color of their skin, their sexual orientation, gender identity, their disability status, or where they live. Inclusive tools and resources on the Health Equity section of their website can be found here. For more information about skin cancer, visit cancer.org/skincancer.

via Dion Merrick / Facebook

This article originally appeared on 02.09.21


At 1:30 am on Monday morning an AMBER Alert went out in southern Louisiana about a missing 10-year-old girl from New Iberia. It was believed she had been kidnapped and driven away in a 2012 silver Nissan Altima.

A few hours later at 7 am, Dion Merrick and Brandon Antoine, sanitation workers for Pelican Waste, were on their daily route when they noticed a vehicle that fit the description in the alert.

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Joy

Nurse turns inappropriate things men say in the delivery room into ‘inspirational’ art

"Can you move to the birthing ball so I can sleep in the bed?"

Holly the delivery nurse.

After working six years as a labor and delivery nurse Holly, 30, has heard a lot of inappropriate remarks made by men while their partners are in labor. “Sometimes the moms think it’s funny—and if they think it’s funny, then I’ll laugh with them,” Holly told TODAY Parents. “But if they get upset, I’ll try to be the buffer. I’ll change the subject.”

Some of the comments are so wrong that she did something creative with them by turning them into “inspirational” quotes and setting them to “A Thousand Miles” by Vanessa Carlton on TikTok.

“Some partners are hard to live up to!” she jokingly captioned the video.

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