Network also Opens Audience Voting to Help Select Best Youth-Conceived Tool to Address Spread of Digital Abuse
MTV’s A THIN LINE campaign today unveiled “Over the Line?”—a new online application to help young people draw their own line between digital use and digital abuse. Additionally, after challenging America’s youth to imagine innovative digital solutions to help stop the spread of digital abuse, MTV, with support from Blue Shield of California Foundation, today revealed and opened audience voting on the three finalist ideas vying to win a $10,000 prize and a potential development budget of up to $75,000 in the “Redraw the Line” challenge.
“Over the Line?” is a new, online space where young people can share, read and rate personal stories – from humorous to dramatic – about how cell phones and social networking sites are impacting their social lives. The application is an open forum where the audience can ask their peers if digital behavior is over the line, as well as read and rate others’ stories – to collectively draw the line between innocent and inappropriate. This application is available at ATHINLINE.org/overtheline or via Facebook. .
With 50 percent of 14 – 24 year olds in a recent MTV/AP study stating they have been the target of some form of digital abuse, young people are disproportionally affected by this issue, but also best equipped to truly address its viral spread. Today, MTV – with support from Blue Shield of California Foundation – unveiled three imaginative ideas conceived by young people as part of the “Redraw the Line” Challenge.
Finalists in the “Redraw the Line” Challenge include:
• Taking Control of Digital Abuse Map (Michael Bastianelli, 23): A digital map of the United States that aggregates and displays examples of how young people are taking action to stop the spread of digital abuse. Actions that would be mapped include getting your school to adopt a digital dating abuse or cyber-bullying curriculum, pledging to “opt-out” of digital abuse, helping a friend, joining in the national conversation on digital ethics, deleting instead of forwarding an inappropriate message and more. Actions taken can be submitted online or via mobile devices, and as actions accumulate, the map will pulse with color, showing the type and volume of actions playing out by region. The map will make it easy for users to learn more about the actions their peers are taking around the country, helping to spread good ideas and inspire more young people to join in and stop the spread of digital abuse.
• Legit Digit (Laudan Behrouz, 27): Through a streaming video chat service and “text a question” SMS resource, young people would be able to connect with trained counselors who can provide help and advice on a wide range of digital abuse scenarios. The service would also be available via a Facebook and iPhone app, and offer free video podcast tutorials on how to handle different digital harassment situations. Users may also use the website and SMS code to report more serious incidences of cyber-misconduct and digital disrespect.
• Little Puck (Daniel Wilkins, 22, Christopher Schmidt, 24, John Thompson, 22, and Whitmore Benoit, 26): A social application where an avatar, Little Puck, serves as an animated representation of one’s digital communication behavior. Users create their own stylized avatar, but based on how they interact with others on one or more social platforms (cell phones / text messaging, Facebook, MySpace, etc.), Little Puck will take on a life of its own – morphing to reflect the user’s communications habits. The application will regularly present users with horoscope-style updates on their digital use and exist as a mobile and web-based extension to their social networking profiles.
Online at challenge.ATHINLINE.org, the network is calling on its audience to cast votes now through March 28, 2010 for the idea they feel has the greatest potential to make a positive impact. Taking audience input into account, MTV and the “A THIN LINE” advisory board will select one of these three creative concepts to be funded with a development budget of up to $75,000, and that team will take home $10,000 for submitting their idea.
“Over the Line?” and the “Redraw the Line” Challenge are part of MTV’s “A THIN LINE” campaign, which empowers America’s youth to identify, respond to, and stop the spread of digital abuse. Digital abuse is an emerging issue that includes behaviors like sexting, cyber-bullying and digital dating abuse, which affect a large majority of young people today. MTV built a coalition of the foremost authorities on these topics, and is addressing these issues through thought-provoking PSAs, integration into MTV’s top-rated shows, innovative online and mobile tools, and curricula.
For more information on A THIN LINE, head to ATHINLINE.org.
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