Is it cyberbullying if kids post mean comments and then say they were “just joking”? Is it wrong for a boy to pressure his girlfriend to send racy text messages? For teenagers, these questions don’t necessarily have clear answers.
MTV is trying to get teens themselves to support each other in standing up to behavior that crosses over into “digital abuse” — use of technologies such as texting and social networking to bully, harass and intimidate people. The network introduced a new online tool called Over the Line this week that allows young people to post about their problem and have peers say whether the behavior is acceptable. The posts and comments are moderated, to make sure bullying doesn’t become a problem in the tool itself.
According to a study MTV conducted with the Associated Press, about half of 14- to 24-year-olds surveyed said they had been the target of some form of digital abuse, including bullying and pressure by dating partners. And a study by the Pew Research Center
released in December found that 4% of teens had sent sexually suggestive photos via text, and 15% said they had received such photos.Read More