Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Editorial: Consent app misleads users

In this week’s issue of Cardinal Points, staff writer Lisa Scivolette examines failed smartphone application “Good2Go,” which was developed with the intention of promoting a culture of consent between sexual partners.

While any attempt to bring awareness to this subject is generally well-received for at least trying, this app seems to miss the point.

The crux of the issue is that people don’t understand the definition of consent: a sober, on-going, verbal yes. Selecting an option on a smartphone app does none of these, and promoting an app as a solution can only lead to further problems.

Within Scivolette’s article, she details the options the app provides and how a person must also enter his or her level of sobriety. Most college students would see this notion as ridiculous, as most highly intoxicated individuals either don’t understand their own intoxication level or are too intoxicated to even attempt to utilize this piece of technology.

This leads to the next issue: Why do we need technology to speak for us? We here at Cardinal Points view this app as an unnecessary step in the line of communication. In addition to not really serving a function, the app also presents significant danger to those who would actively rely on it.

As Macdonough Hall Resident Director Scott Sheehan noted in the article, those who are intoxicated could accidentally select the option that suggests differently from how they were thinking. In addition, an outside party could respond for one side of the partnership, thus leading to miscommunication of consent.

Thankfully, this app has been since removed from the Apple Store. However, the creators are trying to reinvent the app with the intention of rereleasing Good2Go.

This doesn’t address the issue.

Cardinal Points is of the belief that confronting the issue of sexual assault needs to be addressed head-on instead of attempting to dodge and weave around what the problem really is — people not understanding or accepting verbal communication.

Furthermore, a cultural shift surrounding hook-up culture is vitally important. For example, instead of someone asking an obviously intoxicated individual for consent, the norm should be that the question isn’t even considered to be asked — it should be widely understood that it is inherently wrong to take advantage of people who can’t think clearly for themselves.

To the creators of Good2Go: While the effort and goal is well-intentioned, Cardinal Points strongly encourages you to abandon your quest to create a better smartphone app and instead put all that effort into the goals stated above. Put your money and time to better use instead of creating a subpar solution to an issue that needs careful attention.

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