This year, the campaign on dating App Tinder launches with “We Need To Talk”, a short film that explores the nuances of consent in interpersonal relationships amongst young Indian adults.
This will be followed by a first-of-its-kind Consent and Safe Dating curriculum, developed by experts and available online and in person in select universities, to give young adults access to appropriate information and a safe space to have a healthy discourse on the subject. The initiatives this year builds on the App’s existing resource center www.letstalkconsent.com launched last year, in partnership with Yuvaa and Pink Legal.
A recent survey by Tinder reveals that most young adults in India have little or no confidence in navigating consent and find it hard to have conversations on the subject. More than 65 per cent* of those surveyed don’t know how to give consent, how to ask for it or how to withdraw consent when dating someone*. Amongst those surveyed, per cent * do not know what to do if their consent is violated. When asked about situations when their consent was violated, only 1 out of 4 admitted to speaking to their date/partner about it and preferred turning to a friend and looking for resources online, illustrating the need for continuous dialogue on this subject.
Tinder’s latest short film, directed by Sonam Nair and conceptualised in collaboration with The Script Room, addresses some of these above inhibitions and showcases the importance of enabling conversations on consent. The story centers around a birthday party where a group of young adult friends plays a popular party game, Never Have I Ever. A seemingly innocuous question goes awry when one friend is called out for violating someone’s consent. This question in turn sparks multiple conversations between party guests about their varied understanding of consent based on personal and lived experiences. In one particular moment, a character in the film asks his partner” Have I ever made you feel like you are doing something you don’t want to do?” and the female protagonist reveals how she does lie sometimes because she was afraid to hurt his feelings. Young adults in India echoed this sentiment through the survey stating the top three reasons for not communicating their consent included the fear of hurting their date’s feelings, feeling awkward/uncomfortable, and not knowing how to say no.
“Our conversations with Tinder members and the survey with young adult daters in India gave us insight into the overwhelming need to create safe spaces for conversations on boundaries and mutual respect, which are not often discussed in our society,” said Taru Kapoor, GM, Tinder & Match Group, India. “Our Let’s Talk Consent initiative aims to give young adults the tools and resources to understand how consent equates to freedom in making choices, and mutual agreement and normalizes open discussions on tough topics. Coupled with safety products in the app and initiatives such as these, we are committed to working towards creating a healthy dating ecosystem in the country.”
The Apps long-standing commitment to safety started with, requiring mutual consent to send a message. Over the past several years, the app has continued building best-in-class safety features and has provided members complete control over who they interact with, setting the pace and intent of each interaction while reserving the right to withdraw consent at any time. This initiative is part of its wider trust and safety efforts to support proactive member education in-app and off-it. Many of the safety features and initiatives have now become the standard for the industry as daters overwhelmingly value the choice, control, and agency that Tinder brought to them throughout their dating journey with Tinder: Video Chat, which was designed by by the safety team to facilitate a pre-IRL date that puts comfort first, Photo Verification to ensure members are who they say they are, Block Contacts to avoid any colleagues or exes, an updated Reporting process amongst other product features, such as Does This Bother You and Are You Sure to ensure you have all the tools from the time you match to when you go for your first date.