Texas teams up with Bumble to crack down on unsolicited nudes

Texas teams up with Bumble to crack down on unsolicited nudes
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The state of Texas has teamed up with dating app Bumble to pass a law that cracks down on the sending of unsolicited nude photos. 

Bumble, which is headquartered in Austin, Texas, worked alongside state Rep. Morgan Meyer (R) on legislation banning the so-called cyber flashing, The Associated Press reported Friday. 

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“They had a number of people who were using the app complaining about the sending of these images and they quickly realized there was no recourse,” Meyer told the AP, adding that Bumble CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd approached him about drafting legislation. 

“There was nothing that could be done. It wasn’t a criminal offense — although it was definitely digital sexual harassment,” he added.

The law, known as House Bill 2789, will go into effect Saturday. It makes it a misdemeanor to send such material without the request or express consent of the recipient. 

Meyer told the AP that the law applies to texts, email dating apps and social media platforms. 

Bumble chief of staff Caroline Ellis Roche told the wire service the company hopes to push for similar legislation in other states, as well as the federal government. 

Austin-based attorney J.T. Morris, who specializes in First Amendment cases, told the AP there could be challenges to enforcing such a law. 

“It reaches things that arguably could cover images related to medical advice or moms sharing information about breastfeeding or their babies’ health — things like that which certainly can’t be criminalized,” he said. 

Roche acknowledged this but said she hopes the measure still serves to deter people from sending unwanted images.