Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Why We Should Be Glad Rumblr Was a Hoax

You guys have probably heard about this app - it's certainly made the rounds over the last few days.

RUMBLR - the "Tinder for Fighting"

Screen Shot via the NY Daily News (link no longer available)

This started showing up in my Tumblr and Facebook feeds a few days ago.

People in martial arts circles started to get excited when this app appeared in our consciousness.  An app to set up real-life fight clubs?  To find ways to meet and square off against strangers?  Lots of people in our community thought it was a great idea.

First off, before we get too far, you guys should know that Rumblr was a complete fake.  You can read confirmation of it being a hoax here and here.  Turns out, Rumblr was basically a slam on the martial arts community (or at least, parts of it).  Eh, that's okay, we can handle that.

But we fell for it. It was a sensation online in martial arts circles.

People really were excited about it.  I, myself, signed up for it as a curiosity and yes, it existed sorta, but with just a few fake profiles.   It would not surprise me if, given that excitement, somebody actually tries to create this for real someday.

God, I hope not.

Because it's an AWFUL idea.


 Here's why:

1) Legal issues

Let's be grown ups for a minute, and realize that fighting outside of some pretty specific circumstances defined in law is blatantly illegal.  Those circumstances are usually in spaces like boxing gyms, dojos, sanctioned fighting events (like martial arts tournaments) and the like.

Most videos you see of people fighting online in real life are videos recording illegal activity.

Next, imagine what will happen when a skinny 18 year old untrained wannabe with big mouth and delusions of grandeur meets up with a strong, trained martial artist and gets his ass handed to him, maybe gets injured.

The lawyers would be positively SALIVATING at the prospect of Rumblr existing, people.  It was a lawyer's dream come true.

Wait, an app that helps people engage in violence with strangers? Great Idea! - Joe Blow, Attorney at Law

2) It wasn't going to be patronized by martial artists

Rumblr was martial arts/fighting fanboy bait.  It would have been populated by the same guys who think extreme back yard wrestling is a good idea.

Honest-to-goodness martial artists, with training, weren't going to put up with having to sort through the fanboys very long, and would have jumped ship very quickly.  There's just no way to keep those people out.

3) It was too dangerous for real life use

People on this app weren't going to be vetted in any way.  It's one thing to use Tinder to meet up for coffee, it's another to meet up for violence.

People willing to inflict violence on other people outside of having established proscribed rules are often sociopaths.  Who's to say they wouldn't kill their opponent, or bring buddies to help out in case they started losing a fight, or pull a hidden weapon?

In my opinion, that was far too much risk for normal people who enjoy fighting to take on.

In conclusion, I'm damn glad Rumblr is a hoax, because I could see a lot of people getting hurt and sued really quickly, and I'm not a fan of either of those things.

Do I think such a thing could be developed?  Theoretically, yes.  But it'd have to be vetted somehow, and it'd have to be in a sanctioned arena with rules to reduce the risk of injury and death, and there'd have to be a screening process of some sort.

Kinda like what we have today - with tournaments, martial arts schools, training gyms, etc. - but online... sure.  I can see that.

Rumblr was a very bad idea and I'm damn glad it was a hoax.

What do you think?  Tell me in the comments!