In a statement, AIDS Healthcare Foundation public health division director Whitney Engeran-Cordova said, “In many ways, location-based mobile dating apps are becoming a digital bathhouse for millennials wherein the next sexual encounter can literally just be a few feet away-as well as the next STD“.
“Tinder has countered by sending a cease and desist letter to AHF, demanding the billboards be removed, adding the billboard campaign “…is responsible for…falsely associating Tinder with the contraction of venereal disease.”
In a press release, AHF also noted a September 2015 Vanity Fair article entitled “Tinder and the Dawn of the “Dating Apocalypse” that explored the role mobile dating apps are increasingly playing in encouraging casual sex among young adults.
A spokeswoman for Tinder declined to comment for Patch.
The AIDS Healthcare Foundation targets Tinder, a location-based dating app and Grindr, a similar site for gay men, in billboards and bus benches that are aimed at reminding users about the risks of casual sex and offering free STD tests.
The “hookup” apps found on the billboards include Tinder and Grindr, linking them to STDs.
Tinder’s pulled no punches in its response, claiming that the foundation was slandering for their own gains. “Meanwhile, hook up application developers take a “Wild West/Anything Goes” attitude to possible consequences of their apps despite clinical studies showing a correlation between app use and increased STDs”. We expected that these businesses would be concerned about the sexual health of their customers, from whom they make millions. “Their priorities seem clear”.
Billboards show a silhouette of a man labeled “Tinder” face-to-face with a woman’s silhouette labeled “chlamydia”.
The most popular hookup app for young people is fighting back against allegations that it promotes the spread sexually-transmitted diseases.
According to the foundation that put up the billboard, they aim to raise awareness about the rise in sexually-transmitted diseases and urge the users of dating apps to get regularly checked. One billboard was placed near Tinder’s West Hollywood office, and people from the company are not happy.
“These unprovoked and wholly unsubstantiated accusations are made to irreparably damage Tinder’s reputation in an attempt to encourage others to take an HIV test by your organization”, Tinder attorney Jonathan Reichman said in a letter to the foundation.