The Irish Department of Justice has invested heavily in combatting sexual violence and the sharing of intimate images by spending more than €30,000 on Tinder advertising in the past year.
The department made use of the online dating and networking app as part of its No Excuses national awareness campaign on sexual harassment and sexual violence.
The campaign was rolled out in tandem with the enacting of Coco’s Law in February 2021, which created two new offences that criminalise the non-consensual distribution of intimate images.
A Department of Justice spokesperson said: “Given the strength of reach that Tinder has to this target audience, we ran a social media campaign in 2021 on their platform. It also ran across other social media platforms, video on demand, and on audio services.”
The total social media spend on Tinder by the Irish Department of Justice in 2021 was €30,780.75
Prior to launching the campaign, the Department of Justice commissioned independent research on Irish adults’ experiences of intimate image abuse, which demonstrated that 5% of all adults claimed to have had an intimate image of them shared online or on a social media site without their consent. This rose to one in 10 people between the ages of 18 and 37.
The department also ran advertisement campaigns across Facebook, Snapchat, Spotify, TikTok, Twitter, and YouTube platforms last year.
A spokesperson said: “Departments are to be commended for utilising different platforms to spread innovative messages. The work of Brendan Howlin in pursuing and enacting Coco’s Law is seeing a shift from departments in how they disseminate messaging.
“The purpose of the No Excuses campaign is to intensify the public’s awareness of sexual harassment and sexual violence, to bring about a change in long-established societal behaviours and attitudes, and to activate bystanders.
“In order to raise awareness and understanding of the new legislation and to encourage anyone who has been a victim of intimate image abuse, or is aware of intimate images being shared without a person’s consent, to report it to Hotline.ie, the department created relevant material for use as part of the No Excuses campaign.”
Under Coco’s Law, a person found guilty of the distribution or publication of intimate images without consent and with intent to cause harm can face seven years’ imprisonment and/or an unlimited fine.
Anyone convicted of the distribution or publication of intimate images without consent now faces a €5,000 fine and/or 12 months imprisonment.