This week Why’d You Push That Button? , we are About sending nudes talking. Sending a photograph of yourself from 2017 does not have to be complex, but of messaging apps to select from, deciding how to send which some thought can be required by naked. Do you take to iMessage Snapchat, or Instagram DMs? How about sending them during your relationship app?
We spoke to two individuals Messaging program utopia. An guy called Frank uses gay programs like Grindr and Scruff since they comprise built-in camera functions, to deliver his nudes, while our interviewee selects their platform based from the message’s recipient. Someone may get a nude through Snapchat, whereas their buddies might get them. Eden also tells us how they deliver nudes with friends in an effort to build. They wrote a Medium post concerning this specific thing earlier this year.
We then take our messaging thoughts Silverberg, CEO and co-founder of dating app Scruff. He explains the way he thinks the feature will eventually trickle down into apps that are straight and why he constructed a camera role. Scruff informs us that more than a million photos and videos have been sent over chat.
Ashley: Before we enter photo sharing and Everything like this, can you tell us a bit about Scruff? How old is the app? It, things like this.
Eric Silverberg: Sure. Scruff is more Than seven years of age. We are one of the biggest gay dating apps on iPhone and Android, and among the gay dating programs to go global. We are very popular here in the United States, down in Latin America, Western Europe. And we have one of their most unique communities around Scruff. It actually is a social program the encompasses everything gay guys like to do online, whether it’s meet, chat, hook up, but also connect to events, join to men when they journey. We are a app for a fairly special community.
Ashley: Okay, and you completely created it, right?
Yes. My co-founder and I started it back in 2010.
Kaitlyn: That is older than Tinder, right?
Yeah. We predate Tinder .
Ashley: For this particular episode, we are specifically Speaking about sending nudes, but really how we ended up coming to you was one of our interviewees that we talked to mentioned that he utilizes gay dating apps, and he takes advantage of those cameras that are built into these programs. So I’m just wondering if you can just tell us a little bit about the camera function in Scruff, like how it functions and what it’s designed to perform.
So Scruff gives you a variety of ways to share content and Share pictures with other people. You can shoot photographs right inside Scruff and ship them in chat. You can also select photos from the camera roll which you have previously taken. We also let you record images, which means it can be sent by you from the cloud, if you will. I think one of the unique usage cases for gay men and gay apps in particular, is that I believe gay guys share nude photographs. Gay guys share content that is explicit. In addition to everything else that I believe people will share, particularly when they’re getting to know each other.
When we were constructing our photo sharing performance Knew that would be a use case that was core. As we grew, as it became kind of more central to the program, we assembled functionality called personal records. So it’s possible, moreover, share an assortment of photographs or unshare a collection of photographs according to your own preference.
Kaitlyn: Tinder does not have any picture sharing Ability in messaging. Not only can you not take photographs in the program or store photos from archive, you literally can not share them. So I am curious how you would consider this attribute, if you had made an program which also has women on it. Because I am guessing that is a significant reason that Tinder is set up this way.
It is a great question. There is a basic difference, In my view, between programs that cater to gay men and apps that cater to men and women. I believe that it’s rooted in the reality that there’s a basic power imbalance between men and women, and there’s a basic question of security and safety, physical security and security, that is between men and women who are still pose between two guys, but I think that it’s much closer to being equivalent.
I think Due to that asymmetry that, perhaps it’s a Social build, but that perceived asymmetry in power, you will understand a lot more… You will see different design choices. I believe, for instance, if a lady received articles from a guy which was possibly risque or maybe explicit, I think her reaction to receiving that kind of content would be very different than on Scruff, where if someone shares a private record with you and it is explicit content, the societal construct behind this action and the psychological reaction to this, I think it’s just quite different.
And therefore, I will understand why if you’re creating an app For men and women, you might wish to essentially lock what you can do and what you can share. And actually tune it to, and prioritize, the expertise of these women on your program first and foremost.
Ashley: Do you have any warnings about the camera at all? Would you say,”Hey, think before you talk about,” or something like that? I don’t know. Because among the folks we talked to said that he was Googling, I guess, because he came on. He was like,”Whoa, I did not realize that perhaps I shouldn’t be sharing my dick pics this considerably. Because, well, that is my body.”
Kaitlyn: He said that he kind of felt like The simple fact that Grindr delivers the photo archive is sort of a quality that allows more sharing and quicker sharing, since you don’t have to go onto your phone, scroll down via your camera roll, find out where the photograph was. You are just like,”Here is my nude bank” Or whatever. Like, it’s extremely fast.
So I guess we are curious about what kind of security attributes, how do you consider safety on this specific attribute?
Ashley: Yeah. He especially mentioned Grindr, In that case. Do you give users any sort of warning, or even a”think twice” type of thing?
There is no warning in any of the gay apps when it comes To actually sharing picture content. Nevertheless, Scruff is exceptional in its ability to allow you to both share and unshare collections of your private albumcollections of photos.
Scruff is unique because we do allow our members to Send photographs in any message if they later change their thoughts. Neither one of those methods is 100 percent foolproof. Anyone, as soon as they receive content can screenshot it. Even if you were to write the code potential, you could literally take another smartphone and take a picture of the smartphone, and thus have infiltrated that content.
I Believe this is a social issue as It’s a Technical matter. I think what we are currently seeing is that the social landscape change significantly from when we started over seven decades back. I believe you are seeing, not only men sharing content, explicit content in some cases, but you’re also seeing straight men and women doing the identical thing with the rise of apps like Tinder.
That’s, I think, also a part of the reason why we’re seeing Lawmakers beginning to pay attention to problematic consequences of sharing that type of articles and a number of the case. I understand lawmakers in California were close to passing a law, I don’t recall if they have yet, but they were debating a law on the topic of revenge porn and using explicit content, essentially resharing explicit content without consent for the sake of embarrassing somebody else.
I meanI can guarantee you there will come a stage when That our lawmakers have revenge porn. Whether it’s 2020 or 2030, there will be an American president when he or she was young, one day who shared photos that are naughty. And I believe a societal change is very much that’s currently happening.
I believe making people more aware, not only of what could Happen when they share something in private, but more importantly, which makes people aware of what could happen if they accept private content and release it publicly, knowing they could get sued, fined, maybe go to jail. I’m hopeful that will change things for the better.
Ashley: ODo both parties need to agree to message Each other, or can somebody send a picture without an agreement consent on the other end, on the opposite end?
And , I’m not sure if you’ve completed any Research into this, but do you know if folks often ask if they’re comfortable with photographs being delivered to them? Consent on the receiver’s side, as opposed.
So anyone is free to messaging in Scruff is open Initiate conversation with anyone else. Anyone’s free to send unsolicited to anybody. Now, that said, you are able to block. Surely, others can be blocked by you, and conversations can be cleared by you. Therefore, in the event that you receive articles you do not like, it is possible to clean it, block the member, and if necessary, you could report themif they are breaking up our neighborhood guidelines.
I think the protocol in the community and the Response by the homosexual community to getting content, solicited or unsolicited, I think that it’s just different than it’s in the straight community, therefore it is not as big of an issue. Typically, the content which you are receiving is of the person who’s sending it, therefore it’s not quite as much of a concern as is, will the individual that I delivered my articles to flip about and reshare it without my consent.
Ashley: Could you describe some of your tips That you’ve developed over recent years? Because, I really don’t know whether they were developed by you or events happened, or anything. Just, could you explain some of your community guidelines that you’ve developed?
Sure. Yeah, we have a set Have developed through recent years. In addition to powerful prohibitions about misrepresenting yourself, using imitation images, catfishing,… a few of the most important guidelines are based around your conduct and the things that you say to other members, and the things you state on your profile and in your profile text.
A critical feature of an app like Scruff is making sure That our community feels secure and feels welcome. When we have members of the community that are disruptors for any reason, they’re uploading quite offensive profile vision, or have profile text that’s threatening in some way, or perhaps more frequently the case, are only being harassing in conversation to others, that’s when our service staff will intervene and take action, and let folks know this is a different kind of space. In which it seems anything goes, right, this isn’t like Twitter?
This isn’t a publishing platform, if you may. This is a Area where people who, generally speaking, are complete strangers, are coming together to attempt to fulfill one another to learn something about one another, maybe share content with one another, ideally meet up. And consequently, we’ve got a different and, I think set of concerns.
That is why we have published a collection of community guidelines. Not just thatwe enforce those guidelines. I believe that is one of the major differentiators.
Kaitlyn: I’m assuming that people are sharing Photos that aren’t nudes, also. Just sharing photos of their faces or photographs of a dog they saw. I really don’t know.
Kaitlyn: However, is there anything especially protecting nude photographs? Just, from like an extremely basic…
Ashley: Are you encrypting the files, the actual security.
Kaitlyn: Yeah. It sounds like something Individuals are thinking a lot about. People are cautious of, I mean… I did not know the term encryption before I was 19. I don’t know.
Sure. So, also I think that you’ve or the Founders of that app, have recognized a true issue, which will be you don’t want to have X-rated content, or explicit content, either on your camera roster, as a lot of times you are loaning your camera out to someone to have a picture, or you are turning it with a friend. That is one of the reasons why Scruff assembled its album . That means you send it and could take that content and fasten it up. We ensure that information in transit is unquestionably encrypted.
I presume, that said, it is up to everyone, whatever service They are using, whether it’s Scruff, whether it’s iCloud, to be certain that security is being practiced by them, or best practices when it comes to safety. Use a strong password. Don’t share your password with other men and women. Make the most of two-factor authentication, especially for services that offer it.
Ashley: Would you’ve got two-factor on Scruff?
It’s something that we are definitely looking into for the long run.
Ashley: And , you mentioned it in transit, do You shop these on the servers of Scruff? When it’s about the server, can it be encrypted? What kind of protections do you have on the machine?
We take a range of measures to secure our community. Encryption is procedure and a multifaceted and multilayered query. Yeah, I can say that Scruff’s structure is one that we have had people look into. We’ve worked with security experts and security researchers to make certain that our associates may use Scruff with confidence and that stays safe and know that their information is not likely to be disclosed to unauthorized parties.
Kaitlyn: So, it sounds like to you… To return To if you’re building the app, it seems like you knew you needed to include this attribute. What kind of user research did you do around that, and what type of user research do you do now around that?
It’s a question that is fantastic. I Believe when we started we Were constructing Scruff for ourselves and also type of building a good deal of… Truly going with instinct and going with our gut. We were learning as we go and evolving with the platform. The iPhone was much different. The iPhone’s capabilities were much different back then.
We’ve got a very full featured app today. We are taking a Renewed… We have started renewed effort around user research and performing some deep ethnographies where I presume most lately we have interviewed more than 30 users for an hour every day, to really build a complete and strong profile of our members use the app, both here in the USA and abroad. I think how people utilize Scruff and the way that people use apps itself has evolved out of, perhaps, just being about hookups in the start, to something bigger and much broader today. We know folks on Scruff use it to make friends. They use it meet individuals that are attending events and to learn about events.
We know that travel is a usage case for Scruff, That is exactly why we built a feature referred to as”Scruff Venture” that empowers you to connect with other men who are traveling in the exact same town, as well as connect with men in town who are delighted to answer questions concerning where to go and what to do.
There’s been a lot of evolution in how homosexual is used by Folks apps. We are as enjoyable as possible, at an inflection point where we are trying to dig to make the program, or continue to make the app.
Ashley: Why was video originally, when you launched Scruff, part of the camera feature, or is that newer?
It Wasn’t initially a part of it, frankly, because the Devices themselves weren’t really prepared to manage it. I believe we launched it . We let you kind of record videos up to about 30 seconds in length, and include people on your album or show them.
Ashley: What’s your thought As it came time to add video process? Were you just sort of like,”The phones can handle it now. We wanted to do this before, but just the technician wasn’t there.” Or was it more of a decision that is considered that you guys made?
We knew our members were and wanted to discuss video Sharing video through other means, whether it had been services or just kind of sending MMS messages. We wanted to make it more easy for individuals and we wanted to incorporate it . It was about 2013 when the technology created that achievable and allowed you to talk about what, frankly, are much larger files more efficiently. We started video after Snapchat had gotten its start.
Ashley: Is there anything from relationship apps now that you’re hoping in the future trickles down into the broader culture?
Yes. I think that unique to gay programs, We empower our associates to be upfront in expressing their sex preferences. There you wish to have sex with women. And you will find gender preferences. In the gay worldthat’s like top, bottom, versatile. The term of these preferences invites discomfort, scolding, shame, et cetera. I do it. This is a very sensitive topic. People have different levels of vulnerability to this, but I am hopeful that in it will be seen as something that’s normal and accepted.
Something that is area or a characteristic comprised on Straight apps, too. Other people still view Scruff as a hookup program that illegal or doing something out of the norm, especially due to features like this. Scruff is not illicit. Attempting to have sex is not something from the standard.
I am hopeful that that stigma or that cloud That sort of hangs over programs that appeal to the gay community will have dissipated.
Kaitlyn: Yeah. This gets to the thesis of Our show. What you’re saying here is that designing this kind of app with these collections of attributes almost tells folks,”No, you are not being weird or gross by wanting to express this yourself. Lots of people want this and that’s why this is present.” The identical thing using an program that will sort your nudes out of your camera roll. That is a business saying,”Lots of people have nudes in their own camera roll, enough for us to try it,” or anything. Not that I want as a company to tell me that my behaviour is okay. But it does seem like the little bonus implied.
Ashley: Yeah, it brings it into the popular conscience. It’s like,”Oh, this is something that not only I would like to do, or even think about doing, but merchandise designers, people out there who are creating ways to express ourselves are giving us these choices and are considering it, too.” That is really cool.
Kaitlyn: And a lot of the paranoia only comes From the fear of becoming exposed. About sharing a naked photo, the paranoia is not so different from the fear of being naked in front of anything or somebody.
Ashley: Yeah. Well, Eric, thank you so much for coming to the show. You’ve really been a great interview and taught us so much.