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Bumble partners with The Dialogue to build discourse around Technology Facilitated Gender Based Violence in India

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Bumble, announces its partnership with The Dialogue, a research and public policy think-tank based in New Delhi, to support their research towards creating a safer Internet for women in India. The Dialogue, with support from Bumble, published a report titled “#BreakTheSilo: Streamlining Gender Safety in the Digital Space and launched a multi-stakeholder responsibility framework to build public discourse towards tackling Technology Facilitated Gender Based Violence (TFGBV) in India. .

Research conducted and published by The Dialogue revealed that while a number of organisations across policymakers and non-profit organisations have been working to tackle tech-facilitated gender based violence, there has been fragmented interventions and disproportionate focus, hence there is need for greater harmonisation across multiple stakeholders which will enhance the impact for the community.

To tackle this, The Dialogue’s report presents a comprehensive framework that outlines various stages at which harm originates and perpetuates, which is often interrelated: access, prevention, intervention, response & redressal, recovery and research. It will help to close these gaps, by facilitating conversations between multiple stakeholders, enabling a unified and more holistic approach to tackle TFGBV in India.

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Bumble will support The Dialogue as it holds multi-stakeholder consultations with key policymakers and leading experts, to work towards a unified response based on a victim-survivor centric approach to handling online gender-based violence in India.

“Addressing tech-facilitated gender-based violence is not just about reacting to incidents, but fundamentally transforming how we perceive and confront this widespread challenge. Through this framework, we endeavour to bring a paradigm shift in our collective approach to TFGBV in India—a perspective and initiative that has never been undertaken in our nation before. As a tech policy think tank committed to empower the society through our research, this framework is extremely close to our hearts. Thanks to Bumble for supporting this initiative in India, I truly believe that this effort will provide a new vision to India’s upcoming policies on online safety, specially at a time when we are revamping our IT laws”, said Kazim Rizvi, Founding Director, The Dialogue.

“Bumble was founded with the intention of empowering women, and safety has been central to our mission from day one. At Bumble, we continue to  support and work towards elevating public discourse around tech-facilitated gender based violence in India. We are proud to partner with The Dialogue to support their critical research and the framework that aims to help enable a unified and more holistic approach to tackle gender-based violence in India”, said Mahima Kaul, APAC Public Policy Director, Bumble.

At the launch event in New Delhi, Dr Shamika Ravi, Member of Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister, and Secretary to Government of India shared, “Big congratulations to The Dialogue and Bumble on this collaboration! At the G20 summit, all member countries collectively vowed to halve the gender digital divide, and provide greater access to the Internet for women. An extension of that is greater focus on reducing TFGBV.

This framework is extremely important as we need a unified approach. This is a great first step and we have to recognise that there is so much more work to do. As a next step, efforts should be made to socialise this framework & get buy-in from different sectors of the society. We have to now invest in more research and documentation of the issue of TFGBV. This will help in designing better laws and implementing these laws – and to create a more equitable digital environment. I am committed to taking this ahead.”

Extending her support, Dr. Heena Vijaykumar Gavit, Member of Parliament and Chairperson of Committee on Women Empowerment, said, “I’d like to congratulate The Dialogue and Bumble Inc. in India  for their framework, this is noteworthy research towards promoting online safety of women in India through the collaboration of all social institutions and stakeholders. The framework recognises the multifaceted nature of online abuse and harassment and the role of involving all segments of society to tackle its repercussions. By engaging all community members, the framework also fosters a culture of shared accountability in combating tech-based  violence and empowers every individual to take an active role in creating a safer and more respectful digital space.”

In a letter of endorsement, Prataprao Jadhav, Member of Parliament and Chairperson of Standing Committee on Communication and Information Technology shared, “I want to extend my heartiest congratulations to The Dialogue and Bumble Inc. in India for their notable framework. It is a commendable effort towards gender equality and will play an instrumental role in shaping a safer and more inclusive future for the technological landscape. We have made noteworthy strides towards achieving gender equality in the tech space in recent years. However, it is imperative that we continue to advocate for even greater representation and opportunities for women in the tech space. By recognising the significant role that gender equality plays in fostering innovation, creativity, and holistic problem-solving, we are not only empowering women but also strengthening the entire tech ecosystem.”

The framework has also been endorsed by many credible non-profit organisations who have been working on online safety for decades, many of whom were also part of the stakeholder consultation process, including: Centre for Social Research, Safetipin, Responsible Netism, Woman of Elements Trust, Red Dot Foundation, Breakthrough, Internet Freedom Foundation, Social Media Matters, Sayfty, Imaara Survivor Support Foundation and more.

This is not the first time that Bumble has taken a stand on gender-based cyber violence. The women-first app has long been advocating on products and policies to combat misogyny, harassment, and toxicity online. Bumble was one of the first apps to explicitly moderate for cyberflashing with Private Detector, a feature that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to automatically detect and blur unsolicited nude images. Last year, the company released an open-source version of the Private Detector model to help the wider tech community combat cyberflashing. In 2022, Bumble became the first dating app to partner with StopNCII.org, to help stop non-consensual intimate images from being shared online. In 2023, Bumble was one of the founding members to work with Partnership on AI on the first framework for the ethical development, creation and sharing of Artificial Intelligence. Bumble in an industry-first partnership with Bloom also provides complimentary online trauma support to members of its global community who experience sexual assault or relationship abuse.

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