GLAAD is proud to support a new initiative by MTV called “A Thin Line,” which aims to prevent digital abuse and harassment.
The campaign is geared towards young people and includes contributions from celebrities such as Michelle Trachtenberg, Asher Roth, and the Jersey Shore’s Vinny Guadagnino, in order to motivate MTV viewers to get involved.
The online series includes information on common forms of abuse on digital platforms, such as “sexting,” spying, and nonstop communication, as well as suggestions on how to help yourself and others who are victims of cyber abuse. An interactive quiz helps users consider their methods of responding to difficult situations regarding online privacy, and a “Draw Your Line” feature allows them to share what they are doing to stop Internet and cell phone harassment, connecting them to other users’ actions across the nation. It urges youth not to use technology as a means for negative interactions, referring to “the line” as the distinction between digital use and abuse.
Since the success of its initial launch, “A Thin Line” is continuing to expand its mission and has two new opportunities for young people to play a role in the movement against digital abuse. First, creators are developing a Youth Street Team to consist of a select group of youth advisors who ensure that all of the voices of MTV’s audience are represented throughout the campaign. They are seeking people with unique skills and interests to raise awareness about the issue of cyber bullying, to offer input to the “Thin Line” team, and to engage with the community by driving new conversations through social media. Applications are being accepted now.
Furthermore, developers are looking for young people to share their personal stories of cyber abuse. MTV is welcoming both victims of digital hate, who have been bullied, teased or discriminated against through texting or the Internet, and those who act as these “digital haters." The youth will be featured in an upcoming episode of the network’s popular documentary series “True Life,” and MTV is hosting casting calls now.
MTV has consistently been one of the most inclusive networks for the LGBT community, receiving the highest rating from GLAAD’s Network Responsibility Index in 2009-2010. This campaign is an important way to offer support to everyone, both straight and LGBT, who has been affected by cyber bullying, digital dating abuse, digital discrimination, and other forms of technological harm. GLAAD encourages all of its followers to participate in “A Thin Line” and to share its resources with others.