Via press release:
MTV NEWS PREMIERES
“SEXTING IN AMERICA: WHEN PRIVATES GO PUBLIC”
THIS VALENTINE’S DAY AT 9PM ET/PT
Boys Like Girls, Michelle Trachtenberg, All Time Low and Asher Roth
Team Up with MTV’s “A THIN LINE” Campaign to
Stop the Spread of Digital Abuse
3 in 10 Young People Have Sent or Received Nude ‘Sext’ Messages
According to Recent MTV / AP Study
New York, NY, February 03, 2010 – This Valentine’s Day, MTV will explore a new facet of youth culture with the MTV News Special, “Sexting in America: When Privates Go Public,” premiering Sunday, February 14, 2010 at 9pm ET/PT. Part of “A THIN LINE,” MTV’s multi-year initiative to stop the spread of digital abuse, the 30 minute special examines how ‘sexting’ is impacting youth culture and relationships, the stakes involved – from legal to emotional – and how this trend is becoming a new frontier for teen dating abuse. Additionally, MTV today announced that All Time Low, Michelle Trachtenberg (“Gossip Girl,” “Mercy”), Boys Like Girls, and Asher Roth have joined in to help spread awareness about the thin line between digital use and digital abuse.
From top TV shows to hit songs, “Sexting in America: When Privates Go Public,” explores the recent emergence of ‘sexting’ in pop culture and looks at which celebrities have been caught hitting “send.” The special also takes an in-depth look at the pervasiveness and consequences of ‘sexting’ — the act of sending or forwarding nude, sexually suggestive, or explicit pictures on your cell or online — as MTV explores who is doing it, why teens and young adults hit “forward” instead of “delete,” and what happens when hitting “send” really isn’t the end.
Additionally, “Sexting in America: When Privates Go Public,” features young people talking openly about ‘sexting.’ Viewers meet Ally – the “good girl” in her high school who, at the age of 16, sent a nude photo to an ex-boyfriend after being pressured. Her reputation was destroyed overnight when the photo spread across the school and she quickly became the target of constant harassment. MTV also looks at the laws around ‘sexting’, and tells the story of Phillip, who is fighting his status as a registered sex offender. After a heated argument with his girlfriend, Phillip forwarded nude photos of her to everyone in her address book. Because she was under 18, he was charged with child pornography and is slated to remain on the sex offender registry until he’s 43 years old.
“Sexting in America: When Privates Go Public” is part of MTV’s “A THIN LINE” campaign, which empowers America’s youth to identify, respond to, and stop the spread of digital abuse. Michelle Trachtenberg and Asher Roth have signed on to host an interactive quiz that will launch next week on www.ATHINLINE.org, helping teens and young adults figure out if they’re asleep at the keyboard, on top of their game, or creating digital drama for others. Additionally, Boys Like Girls and All Time Low are helping MTV stop the spread of digital abuse through short digital clips that encourage young people to consider the thin line between virtual and reality, and words and wounds.
A recent study released by MTV and the Associated Press found that 3 in 10 young people have sent or received nude ‘sext’ messages, with over 60 percent of those who sent a nude photo reporting that they were pressured to do so at least once. Additionally, the research found that those who have “sexted” are four times more likely to have considered suicide. Over 75 percent of young people state that digital abuse is a serious problem for people their age. However, few consider the more serious consequences and risks of their behavior, with only 51 percent believing that their digital actions could come back to haunt them, and only 25 percent considering that these actions could have legal consequences.
For more information on “Sexting in America: When Privates Go Public” head to www.MTVNews.com, or for details on MTV’s “A THIN LINE” campaign or ways on how to get involved, please visit AThinLine.org or the campaign’s Facebook, MySpace or Twitter pages.
Credits: “Sexting in America: When Privates Go Public” was Executive Produced by Dave Sirulnick and Ryan Kroft from MTV News, and Cheryl Horner Sirulnick from Gigantic! Productions. Jonathan Mussman is Executive in Charge of Production, MTV News. Amy Bonezzi is Producer, Gigantic! Productions.
About MTV’s A THIN LINE Advisory Board:
MTV built a coalition of the foremost authorities on digital abuse, including leading experts in cyber-crime, teen dating violence, adolescent psychology, and other teen issues as part of “A THIN LINE.” Advisory board members include Parry Aftab, Executive Director of Wired Safety and StopCyberbullying.org; Esta Soler, Founder and President, Family Violence Prevention Fund; Jane Randel, Vice President of Corporate Communications, Liz Claiborne Inc.; Virginia Witt, Director of Public Affairs and Policy at Blue Shield of California Foundation; Dr. Jill Murray, psychologist and internationally-recognized expert on teen dating abuse; Cindy Southworth, Founder and Director or the Safety Net Project at the National Network to End Domestic Violence; and Casi Lumbra, a teen online security expert, who has addressed audiences at the United Nations and Harvard Law School.
MTV is the dynamic, vibrant experiment at the intersection of music, creativity and youth culture. For over 28 years, MTV has evolved, challenged the norm, and detonated boundaries — giving each new generation a creative outlet and voice that entertains, informs and unites on every platform and screen. On-air, MTV is the number one rated full-day ad-supported cable network for P12-24. Online, MTV.com averaged 8.5 million monthly unique visitors during the first quarter of 2009 — up +6% from Q4/2008 and up +6% year-over-year. Total video streams for the first quarter of 2009 increased 21% over the same time period last year. And MTV’s successful sibling networks MTV2, mtvU and MTV Tr3s each deliver unprecedented customized content, super-serving music fans, college students and young American Latinos like no one else. MTV is part of MTV Networks, a unit of Viacom (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), one of the world’s leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms.