One thing you can say about Bumble, is they take dating safely seriously.
Bumble has been known for removing profile photos with hate messages and has a low tolerance for inappropriate behavior.
This week, Bumble announced on their blog, they’d be removing profile photos of singles holding knives or guns to the app, in response to the shootings in Parkland, Florida.
In an interview on CBS News, I spoke with KCBS reporter Rebecca Corral about this issue of whether guns should or should not appear in a dating profile.
Listen to the full interview here:
Rebecca: One of the fastest growing dating apps is banning pictures of guns from user profiles. The founder of Bumble, a dating app where women have to message first, tells The New York Times that the move is in response to the recent string of mass shootings. The policy will mirror how Bumble handles nudity in photos and will only provide an exemption for users with military or law enforcement backgrounds who post pictures of themselves carrying firearms in uniform.
For more on the decision, we’re joined on the case KCBS Central Newsline by Julie Spira, a dating expert and founder of cyberdatingexpert.com Thanks very much for talking to us. What do you think?
Julie: I think it’s a great idea because people come to me, and one of the first questions they ask me is, “Julie, is online dating safe?” Bumble is taking the position that they want women to feel safer, we want everyone to feel safer.
If you see an image of somebody holding a deadly weapon, a knife or a firearm, you have the opportunity now to report that profile as suspicious, no differently than you would report their profile for hate speech.
Rebecca: On the other hand, if someone values their weapons so much that they want to take a picture of themselves posing with it, don’t you think somebody wants to know that about that guy?
Julie: That is one of the issues, because what happens is if somebody might want to swipe left on someone if they don’t agree with the gun issue.
Maybe someone will write it in their profile and happen to talk about it as one of their activities and what they like. If the photos are there, they’re going to get reported.
Members have an opportunity to actually go and dispute that. There is a little loophole, though. If someone connects their Instagram account with photos of pictures of them with guns, a user can still take a peek and know where they stand.
Rebecca: Okay. Now, I believe that Bumble was also talking about not letting people talk about their guns in their profiles, is that not the case?
Julie: Well, as of now, what I saw was the ability to report photos. If somebody is saying, “I love guns and it doesn’t bother me what happened in Parkland, Florida”, they are going to get reported.
Rebecca: Where do you draw the line then on what can’t be included in these profiles? Where do we start running into one, personal expression, and two, really revealing who you really, really are?
Julie: Well, the photos, of course– Bumble takes a position, and they take a position as the app with a feminist approach, because they want women to make that first move, but anything that makes somebody uncomfortable can be reported.
They have a crew of 5,000 people who are monitoring these profiles are going to take each and every one of them with a gun down.
Rebecca: Again, I want to push the point so you can give me the counterpoint to it. I want to know if somebody wants to take a picture of himself with a knife or a gun. If I were a user, I would want to know that.
Julie: I would want to know that too. Bumble believes users with guns do not belong in their safe, kind, loving environment, because they’re promoting love and safety and respect and kindness.
Perhaps Bumble isn’t the right site for someone who is a gun-happy person, but again, if you see pictures in somebody’s Instagram profile and they’re connected, they’re not going to delete that profile based upon an Instagram photo with a gun. If someone really wants to show that this is who they are, you can find out by looking at their Instagram account.
Rebecca: All right, Julie, thanks very much for talking to us, appreciate it. Julie Spira is a dating expert, she’s the founder of cyberdatingexpert.com.
Side note: Bumble graciously donated $100,000 to “March for Our Lives” and will not remove photos of those who are in law enforcement or the military.
Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She’s the CEO and founder of Cyber-Dating Expert and has been coaching singles on finding love online for almost 25 years.
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Recently, I was a guest on FOX 11, Los Angeles, in a special feature about people grabbing photos from the Internet and creating a dating profiles on mobile apps and online dating sites.
While this happens, it’s really in the minority of profiles. Still, if you see a hunky model’s photo on a message to you, here’s how to tell if he or she is real.
After watching the video, scroll down to see a sample email that was sent (in bulk) on an online dating site to many users. If you find one like this, don’t reply. Report it as suspicious to the dating site, because they take dating safety seriously, and so do we!
Photo Swapping on Dating Profiles
In my interview with Susan Hirasuna, I explained the following:
“Julie Spira literally wrote the book on cyber-dating.”
“She says, the number one complaint is that people show up for the first date and they don’t look like their profile photos.
“In the case of Emanuel, she theorizes he may be socially awkward or just needs an ego boost by matching with women on the dating apps.”
“Having the opportunity to chat with someone to boost your ego, if you’re looking like someone they might want to go out with. It’s a game and it’s really a sad game, because you’re really tugging at digital heart strings,” Spira told me.”
“She said, those with the photo swaps likely have no intention in meeting their dating app matches.”
RELATED: 10 Dating Safety Tips
The Suspicious Email
On a popular online dating site, this email has been floating around.
Note the following red flags:
- There’s it’s not personalized. “Hi there” doesn’t list your screen name or name.
- The writer claims to be in the military, which is a common sign.
- The writer claims he is financially stable, something that will attract a woman.
- He wants to communicate OFF the dating site and offers an email account and asks for yours.
My name is John and I think your profile looks amazing as It feels great to meet someone who has a positive outlook at life and still looking to find the right one. I am a loving, kind and successful man who is still looking to find the right match. I’m a senior personnel working with the United States Military and would be retired in a couple months. I am secure, own my homes and financially stable. I have lived a great life with the exception of having that special someone to make memories with as life is full of beautiful memories. I believe life’s adventures are better when shared with someone special and would really love to get past the introduction part and get to know each other personally. I would prefer to communicate via email as I don’t come on here often. You can leave me an email on email@example.com or leave yours as we seem to be on here at different times. It would be refreshing to get to know each other and see how much we share in common and where it could possibly lead. Would look forward to read from you.
While John may indeed be a real person, he won’t brag about his money, be unavailable whenever you are logged on, and won’t immediately ask to communicate off the site.
If you receive an email like this, you can ignore it or report it, but be careful about falling in love from your computer screen with someone who has never appeared to have read your profile.
Wishing you much love and joy in cyberspace, or wherever you may swipe or roam.
Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She was an early adopter of Internet dating and has been coaching singles on finding love online for over 20 years with her Irresistible Profiles dating services. Julie’s the author of the bestseller, The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online and was the recipient of the 2017 Best Dating Coach of the Year Award.
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Everyday can be like Valentine’s Day, since dating and love never go out of style.
A huge thank you to KABC TV in Los Angeles for having me on Eyewitness News to share 10 of my dating safety tips. It’s my goal to help you date safely 365 days out of the year. Keep in mind, most daters have good intentions, but to be safe, follow these rules.
Some of the online dating safety tips include:
- Facetime, Skype and/or Phone Date – Use technology to make sure you’re not dating a “bot” and to pass the phone chemistry test.
- Visit Linkedin and Facebook – See if you have friends in common and ask them to give you the digital thumbs up or thumbs down on your mutual connection.
- Be Careful of the Country Dates or Emails from a Military – While I know a man from Los Angeles who married a woman from Paris, if someone contacts you from out of the country, use video chat to make sure they are real and check their punctuation. If someone from the military has a sob story and asks you for money, report them to the dating site.
- Saying “I Love You” Too Soon – Some people use those three little words that will make you swoon, but if you haven’t met, how can you really be in love? Sure they “get you,” but if they are mirroring your profile and you think they’re too good to be true, perhaps they are.
- Meet in a Public Place – While it seems logical to meet in a public place, often someone will invite you to their place to “hang out” or “netflix and chill.” All first dates must be in a public place and let a friend know where you’re going and the screen/profile name of your date.
- Don’t Get in Anyone’s Car – While it’s chivalrous to be picked up at home, tell your date if they offer to do so, that you’d like to save that for the second or third date.
- No Late Night Dates – With mobile apps, you can meet someone almost instantly 24 hours a day. If someone suggests a first date after 9pm, take a pass. That screams “booty call” and you don’t know if someone else was the dinner date, while you’re becoming dessert.
- Don’t Sext Before Meeting – A Match Study showed that 34% of singles are actually having sex BEFORE they meet. Millennials up that number to 48%! Remember, anything you text can be shared and if it doesn’t work out, chances are it will. My rule of thumb is, if you don’t want your parents, children, or boss to see your text, then don’t push the send button.
- Let Google Be Your Best Friend – With my dating coaching programs, I conduct a Google search for email addresses, photos, and phone numbers. While I don’t believe in kissing and telling, I also don’t believe in googling and telling. Sneak a peek and be a cyber-sleuth and if something seems very off, cancel the date.
- Limit Your Drinking on a First Date – If you’re out for dinner or drinks and are having a great time, instead of ordering a second drink or going home, order a club soda instead. Getting intoxicated on a date could lead to problems you might regret in the morning.
Remember, how you act offline when meeting someone new is the same as how you should act online. Be safe and enjoy the ride.
Happy dating and I wish you much love and joy in cyberspace, or wherever you may swipe or roam. xo
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Online dating is a great way to meet new people and to actually fall in love.
A recent Match Singles in America Survey of over 5000 singles revealed that 53% of singles have created a dating profile. The survey also showed that 81% of singles are looking for romantic love and we want you to find it, safely.
At Cyber-Dating Expert, we love helping singles find love online. As a matter of face, I’ve been coaching singles for 23 years now, sine online dating was in its infancy. We also want YOU to feel safe while on a date, and know that dating sites take safety seriously and provide tips that you should know before you open your heart and potentially your wallet.
Here are some dating safety tips to remember before you head out to meet your digital crush.
- Have a facetime or skype chat, or at least talk on the phone before you meet IRL. While someone may look great in a profile, until you hear the sound of their voice, you won’t know for sure if the person is a neighbor or a bot. I call this pre-dating and if you’re comfortable on the phone, chances are you’ll have a good experience on the date.
- Find out if you have friends in common. These days it’s so easy to see if you have friends in common on Facebook or Instagram. If so, reach out to your pals to see if you can get the thumbs up or down on your potential date.
- Watch out for suitors from out of the country or in the military. A popular romance scam is one where the person is writing to you from another country. Sure I know of people from the U.S. who fell in love with someone from Paris and they lived happily ever after, but if someone is stationed someone out of the country, they might ask you for money for a plane ride to visit you. While there’s a song, “I love a Man in a Uniform,” don’t fall prey to requests for money.
- Be careful if someone says “I love you” too soon. Until you meet in person, you have nothing more than a digital pen pal. Those whose intentions aren’t sincere will want you to fall in love with them immediately. They may say, “I’ve never felt this way about anyone before.” Before you change your relationship status, know this is a common ploy to potentially get yo to send them a wire transfer when they have a sudden emergency. After all, they love you, right?
- Meet in a public place. Whether it’s a dog park, coffee bar, or a happy hour, NEVER meet your date at his or her house. Your first few dates should be in a public place, where there’s activity going on.
- Don’t get into anyone’s car. If your date asks you for a nightcap elsewhere, you’re pretty much getting into a car with a stranger. Until you get to know them better, take your own car or public transportation, where you can leave if you feel the need to do so.
- No late night dates (after 10p). This should go without saying, but it screams booty call. You have no idea what other dates he or she had that night, but 10p, means you’re dessert and it’s not a proper date. Just say no and suggest something in the daytime.
- Don’t sext before ever meeting. The match survey showed that millennials are 48% more likely to have had sex, than other age groups before they ever met their date. I call it digital foreplay, but if you’re sexting big time with someone you haven’t met, the expectation of having sex on the first date will be very high. Go ahead and flirt on text messages and have fun, but leave your clothes on.
- Let Google become your best friend. Be careful of photos that look too good to be true. Do a Google search for your date’s email address, phone number, and upload their dating profile photos to Google image reverse search. If they seem sketchy, cancel your date. If things match up, go out and enjoy your date.
- Limit the drinking on a first date. Alcohol can blur your judgment and having that second drink just might result in a late night booty call or put you in a dangerous situation. If you’re meeting for drinks, limit your alcohol intake to one drink only. If the conversation is going well and you’re not ready to end the date, order a club soda for your second drink.
If you feel that someone’s profile is suspicious, report the profile to the online dating site, who has your safety as a top priority while looking for love online.
Wishing you much love and joy in cyberspace, or wherever you may roam. xo
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Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She’s the CEO of Cyber-Dating Expert and has been coaching singles on finding love online with her Irresistible Profiles programs for over 20 years. Julie’s the recent winner of the 2017 iDate Awards for Best Dating Coach and is the author of the bestseller The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online and ranks as the most influential person in social media in “dating” and “online dating.”
With Valentine’s around the corner, a question I’m asked frequently is, “How safe is online dating?”
As an online dating expert who constantly teaches dating safety tips, I was pleased to see that highspeedinternet.com (HSI) and SafeWise, combined their efforts and did a deep dive into online dating safety, state-by-state to come up with a list of the safest and most dangerous states to be swiping right to look for a sweetheart.
At Cyber-Dating Expert, we believe that vetting your dates online can be safer than curling up at a bar with an intoxicated stranger. Therefore, each state is safe if you take the time to learn about someone and spot the red flags of those who might not be sincere.
At the end of the digital day, we say date online in all states and countries and cast a wide net, while selecting wisely.
Here’s their list of the safest places to find a digital sweetheart.
Top 10 Safest States to Date Online
- New Hampshire
- West Virginia
- New Jersey
Their research included, crime, sex education, STDs.
On the downside, this report included a list of the 10 states they felt were more dangerous for digital daters.
- New Mexico
- South Carolina
- North Carolina
For more dating safety tips, we recommend reading these articles.
RELATED: A Catfish Tale: Reelin’ Them In
RELATED: Online Dating Tips From an Expert
Wishing you much love and joy in cyberspace, or wherever you may swipe or roam. xo
Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. Julie’s been called the “Pioneer of Online Dating” and has been helping singles find love online for over 20 years. She’s the author of the bestseller, The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a H0peful Romantic Looking for Love Online and creates Irresistible Profiles for singles on the dating scene.
Selfies. Love them, love them not.
While selfies aren’t your best photos to appear on your online dating profile, your potential dates do want to know exactly who you are and if you resemble your profile pictures.
For this reason, our friends at Badoo have created a new feature in their mobile dating app called the “Selfie Request.”
According to their press release, the new selfie feature allows women to request a photo from a male user after they have received an initial message to confirm that their potential match is genuine and using a real photo. From there, a male user can either send the requested selfie or decline.
Women who come to us for Irresistible Profiles and Dating Coaching are fearful at times that the date will be like someone they’ve viewed on MTV’s ‘Catfish,’ or their potential date will be misrepresenting themselves in some way. While we believe online dating is mostly safe for both men and women, any feature that adds comfort to the process is one where we’ll give a thumbs up to!
A Pew Internet Research survey showed that over 54 percent of online daters have felt that someone misrepresented themselves on their profile. So ladies, go ahead and request a selfie from a potential date.
Online and mobile dating safety is important to both men and women. Currently the selfie request feature is only available to women, but in time we hope they add the feature for men to use as well.
So request away and have fun with their new mobile app feature.
Guys, don’t decline the rest, or your chances of getting a date with her will be zero.
Are you using selfies on your dating profile?
Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating and Mobile Dating Expert. She’s a bestselling author and as an early adopter of the Internet, has been coaching singles on finding love online for over 20 years. Find out more about how our Irresistible Profiles will help you find your dream date.
Photo credit: Fotolia
Every once in a while a story comes out in the news about a person who has had a bad dating experience with someone they’ve met online. Men are fearful that every woman will turn out to be crazy. Women on the other hand need to know that they will be safe with their date.
I’m here to tell you that the same people who date online also date offline, so when it comes to dating safety, these rules will apply for both.
Let’s start with the fact that about one-half of the single population in the United States are now dating online. This number is huge and should give you the comfort of knowing that you’re not alone in cyberspace.
Here are my rules for safe online dating.
1. Have a phone pre-date.
Not everyone gives good phone, but if the phone call is awful and you’re struggling to keep the conversation going, chances are you’ll have a bad experience on your date. After a few email or text exchanges, I recommend scheduling a phone date. Keep the phone call to 20 minutes or less, as you don’t want to reveal everything about yourself before you meet IRL. If you click on the phone, that’s terrific. Suggest putting a date on the calendar, sooner rather than later. If you feel like you’re sitting in the dentist’s chair or in a deposition, be kind and let the person know that you don’t think you have enough in common and wish them the best with their search. If someone is unwilling to take the time to call you, then move on to someone who values your desire to hear his or her voice.
2. Do a Google search.
I’m often asked if someone should search their date on Google and the answer of course is yes! Everyone does. However, just like you shouldn’t kiss-and-tell, you should not Google-and tell. By revealing and questioning your date about your findings on Google, you will come across as a stalker and just might get canceled on. Knowledge is power, up to a point.
3. Check their Facebook photos.
A picture tells a thousand words, or does it? Those posting old prom shots or photo-shopped pictures can get old when you go on a date and barely recognize him or her. My recommendation is to hop over to Facebook or Instagram and view real-life photos. If the photo from last night’s concert resembles his or her online dating profile shots, you’re in pretty good shape. Better yet, view some of their selfies, which are less than polished.
4. Listen more than talk.
If your date seems to be a drama queen or catastrophizes and plays the victim, they’ll let you know early on. This is a red flag that if the relationship goes south, it might not be an amicable departure. For this reason, I stress that you should wait before allowing someone to know where you live. You should continue to meet in a public place for your early dates. Let them talk about ex’s, bad dates, and all the reasons why they are still single and sit back and listen.
5. Trust your gut.
Trusting your intuition is the number one way to make a decision whether to go on a date with someone or not. Take your time in getting to know him or her and enjoy the courting process. If stories aren’t adding up or if you feel in your heart there’s something wrong, you just might save yourself from a future heartbreak.
Contact us for more information on how to create an Irresistible Profile to attract your dream date.
Julie Spira is America’s Top Online Dating Expert and Digital Matchmaker. She’s the founder of CybeDatingExpert.com and was an early adopter of Internet dating. Julie’s been helping singles find love online for 20 years. Follow @JulieSpira on Twitter for dating advice and like us at Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert.
Online dating safety is something that everyone needs to be concerned with. At Cyber-Dating Expert, we take safety seriously and are always sharing ways for you to feel safe and enjoy the Internet dating experience.
In Louisiana, three stories occurred this month involving people who met online dating, social networking sites that resulting in hijacking and other crimes such as a robbery in a car.
In one case, a man went to his car to meet a potential date, and instead of finding the woman, ten men were there, which resulted in a carjacking.
I spent the morning on the radio on WWL AM/FM in New Orleans to provide dating safety tips to help prevent such occurrences.
While these occurrences are rare, it’s still important to point out the following, whether dating online or offline.
1. Meet in a public place and don’t pick up your date.
2. Don’t give out your last name or information where you work
3. Let a friend know where you are meeting and call in or text to let them know you’re fine
4. Don’t suggest a late night date
5. Never go back to someone’s home on a first date
6. Avoid drinking a lot of alcohol, which will impair your judgment
7. Carry pepper spray on your key chain for when you’re walking to your car at night
8. Conduct a Google search for your date’s name, phone number, and email addresss
9. View your date’s profile photos in a Google reverse image search by uploading it to Google.com/images
10. Do a background or people search for your date on sites such as Radaris or Spokeo
11. Set up a free Google voice account with a number exclusively for dating
12. If you’re uncomfortable for any reason, leave
13. If your date makes you feel unsafe online or offline, report their profile to the dating site
14. Take your time getting to know someone on the phone and through emails before meeting
15. Trust your intuition
Realize that while maybe 10% of your dates might not be truthful or may have ulterior motives, about 90% of the dates are truly great people looking to connect. There are millions of singles finding love online. Keep these safety tips in mind as you schedule your dates, but still enjoy the time getting to know someone.
Romance scams have been in the news lately from singles who are members of online dating sites and social networking sites. Every time I hear one of these stories, it breaks my heart. With Valentine’s Day putting extra pressure on dating, it’s extremely important to make sure that singles are doing their research when looking for a date, whether online or offline.
Know that online dating safety is of the highest importance here at Cyber-Dating Expert.
As a result, I’ve become a Spokesperson for Spokeo, an online search service which provides publicly available data to help you research your dates.
New research provided by Spokeo and Harris Interactive was just released which shows that 71% of Americans are willing to conduct some kind of informational search about the person they are dating. This tells me that singles are taking dating safety very seriously.
Here are 7 tips to help avoid being a victim of a romance scam.
1. If your date’s photos are either blurry or look like they are from a stock photo gallery, or look model-like or too good to be true, it’s time to do some digging.
2. Those involved in perpetrating a romance scam want to take the conversation off the dating site quickly and onto a private chat or instant messenger service. This avoids having the conversations documented or traceable by the dating site?s software. Until you’re sure about your date, keep the conversations on the dating site.
3. If he or she says they’re in love with you very quickly, don’t jump for joy just yet. Romance scammers often will say they’ve never felt this way before about anyone before and they’ve waited their whole life to meet you. Their grammar often isn’t correct and they have an accent if you speak to them on the phone.
4. If he or she lives out of town or out of the country, find out where they really live. If their efforts to visit you get repeatedly canceled due to a work or family emergency, you should be raising a digital eyebrow.
5. If your potential date has a work or family emergency and asks you to wire them money, don’t fall for it. It’s likely they’ll say if you really love them, you’ll help them out and they’ll pay you back quickly. Often the excuse is their funds are temporarily tied up. Don’t fall for it.
6. Make sure to look up the data that you have on someone you’re dating. This can be easily done by plugging the information you have into an online search engine to see if what you find online matches up with what the other person is claiming. Sites like Google and Spokeo can be very informative to research your date.
7. If any of these things happen to you, never ever send money. Do not sent money via Western Union or a foreign bank. Report the profile in question to the dating site and understand that you’re one of many that this person is writing to try try to sweep you off your feet and promise you a life of love and happiness.
Know that you can do a simple search of your potential date’s email address, phone number, or even user name by going to Spokeo.com.
Happy safe dating this Valentine’s Day.
Enjoy the Infographic below and feel free to share this with all of your single friends.
Wishing you much love and joy in cyberspace, or wherever you may roam.Julie Spira is an online dating expert and was an early adopter of Internet dating. She creates Irresistible Profiles for singles on the dating scene. For more online dating advice, follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and sign up for the free Weekly Flirt newsletter.
Disclaimer: Cyber-Dating Expert is a paid Spokesperson for Spokeo
35% of Americans Willing to Pay for Dating Research in Order to Feel Safer – An infographic by the team at Spokeo People Search
Some dating tips include:
- Do a Google search for your date’s email
- Do a Google search for your date’s phone number
- Set up a Google Voice number for dating
- Set up a gmail account on Google for dating purposes
- Trust your intuition and report any suspicious activity to the online dating site
At the end of the digital day, there are a lot of terrific people joining online dating sites. You just be able to find your match.
Julie Spira is an online dating expert, cyber-relations expert, and author of the bestseller, “The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online. Visit her at CyberDatingExpert.com, where you can sign up for the Weekly Flirt dating advice newsletter. Follow @JulieSpira on Twitter and Facebook.com/CyberDatingExpert.