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MTV Launches Initiative to Curb Digital Abuse Among Youth

Last week Rihanna said, "If you don't send your boyfriend naked pictures, then I feel bad for him." These words rang alarms for anyone worried that youth don't understand the emerging risks associated with technology. MTV is among the parties concerned about young people's digital drama. The network is launching a multiyear initiative, called A Thin Line, to empower youth to stop the spread of "digital abuse," which includes behaviors like sexting, cyberbullying, and digital dating abuse.

Before the network started to address the problem through new television and online initiatives, MTV decided to look into what's really going on. An AP/MTV study found that 50 percent of 14 to 24 year olds have experienced digital abuse, and three in 10 have sent or received nude "sext" messages. In addition, only half of people surveyed think their actions could come back to haunt them.

So what is MTV going to do change these attitudes? To find out,

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By running PSAs, incorporating the theme into top-rated programing, and by rolling out new programs like an MTV News special report on sexting, the network and its partners (which include Facebook and MySpace) hope young people will learn how to draw the line with behavior like constant texting, sexting, spying, digital disrespect, and online cruelty. It's also awarding a $10,000 prize to the youth that comes up with the most promising idea to stop digital abuse.

Most young people today can't imagine a world without constant connection to their peers, and this connection is obviously changing everyone's sense of privacy and the way we interact with each other in general. Do you think MTV's new initiative will help young people learn to identify the problems that can arise?

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cotedazur cotedazur 6 years
I think digital abuse is a huge problem. Greenfairy, I don't agree that kids who bully online would do it in real life. Being on the internet gives us all a sense of anonymity that allows us to do things we'd never do face-to-face. I think Rihanna's comment was, for lack of a better word, stupid. She has the right to think whatever she wants, but it's a ridiculous thing to say in an interview. And it's pretty insulting to all of us with fantastic sex lives who have never taken naked photos of ourselves - trust me, Rih, none of my boyfriends deserve your pity. Good luck to MTV.
cotedazur cotedazur 6 years
I think digital abuse is a huge problem. Greenfairy, I don't agree that kids who bully online would do it in real life. Being on the internet gives us all a sense of anonymity that allows us to do things we'd never do face-to-face. I think Rihanna's comment was, for lack of a better word, stupid. She has the right to think whatever she wants, but it's a ridiculous thing to say in an interview. And it's pretty insulting to all of us with fantastic sex lives who have never taken naked photos of ourselves - trust me, Rih, none of my boyfriends deserve your pity.Good luck to MTV.
Yogaforlife Yogaforlife 6 years
my bad - still barely a mature adult;-)
xgreenfairyx xgreenfairyx 6 years
Rihanna is 21.
xgreenfairyx xgreenfairyx 6 years
Rihanna is 21.
Yogaforlife Yogaforlife 6 years
And wait - isn't Rihanna only like 19? She's hardly a mature adult.
Yogaforlife Yogaforlife 6 years
I find Rihanna's comment horrifying. Even though she was an adult speaking about adult actions - a huge portion of her fans are impressionable teenagers. Telling teenage girls that you feel sorry for their boyfriends if they're not sending nake pics is wrong! She is sending the worst kind of message because teenage girls try to emulate her behavior. There is nothing worse than a female celebrity making that kind of statement. She may as well have said if you don't do it, there's no reason for him to stay with you.I don't think there will be anyway to truly stop sexting and texting abuse, peer pressure will always be there. But it's good that MTV is at least trying to take a step in the right direction to make teens aware that it does have consequences, and that it's okay to not do it!
Yogaforlife Yogaforlife 6 years
I find Rihanna's comment horrifying. Even though she was an adult speaking about adult actions - a huge portion of her fans are impressionable teenagers. Telling teenage girls that you feel sorry for their boyfriends if they're not sending nake pics is wrong! She is sending the worst kind of message because teenage girls try to emulate her behavior. There is nothing worse than a female celebrity making that kind of statement. She may as well have said if you don't do it, there's no reason for him to stay with you. I don't think there will be anyway to truly stop sexting and texting abuse, peer pressure will always be there. But it's good that MTV is at least trying to take a step in the right direction to make teens aware that it does have consequences, and that it's okay to not do it!
MissSushi MissSushi 6 years
Unfortunately, teenagers aren't known for making logical rational decisions, lol. It was a stupid thing to say/promote anyway, regardless of who will be influenced by it. It's kinda like Kate Hudson's mothers advice to make sure to put out enough to keep her spouse/bf/whatever "happy".
MissSushi MissSushi 6 years
Unfortunately, teenagers aren't known for making logical rational decisions, lol. It was a stupid thing to say/promote anyway, regardless of who will be influenced by it. It's kinda like Kate Hudson's mothers advice to make sure to put out enough to keep her spouse/bf/whatever "happy".
jocupcake jocupcake 6 years
I think it's commendable that MTV is attempting to address this. Even if it doesn't solve the problem, it can't hurt to get kids thinking about this issue. Also, I'm pretty appalled that Rihanna said what she did... what a seriously bad example to set (and what a completely incorrect statement).
jocupcake jocupcake 6 years
I think it's commendable that MTV is attempting to address this. Even if it doesn't solve the problem, it can't hurt to get kids thinking about this issue. Also, I'm pretty appalled that Rihanna said what she did... what a seriously bad example to set (and what a completely incorrect statement).
xgreenfairyx xgreenfairyx 6 years
I think people are scared at the speed and quality of technology, and don't know how to integrate this new generation appropriately. Its not like bullying is new, or underage sexual behavior is new...The only difference is that you can save it on a USB now. Smart kids know not to send nude photos of themselves to strangers and friends. And kids who bully online are probably doing it in real life too. This kind of campaign only appeals to the fears of middle class parents, not kids. Since when did MTV become the babysitter/parent? FYI, Rihanna is hardly a 'youth'....she's an ADULT who sent photos of herself to her boyfriend, making a statement as an ADULT, to ADULTS. She took the same risks and got burned, but any underage person insisting on being in a 'relationship' and taking what she said to heart is a complete moron.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 6 years
I don't think it's always a bad idea, but I agree that teenagers shouldn't be doing it. Teenage boys are practically untrustworthy by definition.
genesisrocks genesisrocks 6 years
Agree Hiding. Hope their work helps
Hiding55 Hiding55 6 years
Sadly you don't realize it can hurt you until it's too late and it's not something you can take back. It will come back to haunt you.
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