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Perhaps a good New Year's resolution for (former) Bumble user Michael Blanchard is to be a little nicer in 2018. Earlier this week, after matching with Samantha, a 23-year-old London woman, Blanchard began the modern dating app ritual of sending cutesy messages back and forth. The messages, however, quickly devolved into criticisms about Samantha's appearance.
It began when, after sending her another woman's photo, Blanchard told Samantha "that [sic] what you could look like if you put a tiny bit of effort out at the gym." Naturally, Samantha found this offensive and responded with an acceptable, and even restrained, "How [expletive] dare you?" Well, it turns out, Blanchard did dare — and he wasn't done.
"I'm not gunna lie, I'm a 10/10 and your clearly at a 5," he wrote via the Austin-based dating app. "When your looking tip top I'll let you know, you look like the desperate waiting type so I'll hold you to that, Thanks, Love Mike." Oh, dear. In addition to using a profile picture with a bird on his head, Blanchard also does not understand proper grammar.
After Samantha posted the messages to social media on December 12, the U.K. tabloid press ran wild with the story. In an interview with The Tab, Blanchard claims the messages were the result of a drunken night out with friends who took his phone as a joke. "They were mostly funny and harmless but in this case it was extremely rude, belittling, and insulting," he told the tabloid.
Meanwhile Bumble is having none of Blanchard's excuses. After Samantha reported the messages, Bumble, which is headquartered in Central Austin, issued a scathing letter on December 14 and permanently banned Blanchard from the dating app.
"Here's a tip: It’s the 21st century," the company wrote. "Small minded, sexist, shallow people aren’t welcome in a progressive society anymore, and in the end, only you will lose out. Times are changing, women are speaking up for themselves, and people are no longer going to be getting away with this sort of behavior."
As for Samantha, she told The Sun that after initially being bummed out by the interaction (girl, we all are), she's feeling better after seeing the collective response to Blanchard's abuse. "I have had lots of positive messages from friends, people I have not spoken to in a while, to complete strangers. It has been fantastic."