MTV News special "Sexting in America: When Privates Go Public" is set to premiere on Valentine's Day as part of MTV's A Thin Line campaign to stop the spread of digital abuse. And before the show, Boys Like Girls, Michelle Trachtenberg, All Time Low and Asher Roth have teamed up with MTV to inform people about serious harm sexting, cyberbullying and online harassment can cause.
Trachtenberg and Roth will host an interactive quiz that will launch next week on AThinLine.org. Boys Like Girls and All Time Low will appear in short digital clips about digital abuse that will go live on the site on Wednesday.
The special will take an in-depth look at the recent rise of "sexting" in pop culture, including in the celebrity world. It will also take an in-depth look at the frequency and consequences of sending or forwarding nude, sexually suggestive or explicit pictures on your cell or online. It will explore why some teens and young adults hit "forward" instead of "delete."
In addition to the celebrity participants in the special, young people will talk openly about sexting. The special will look at real-life stories from people like Ally, whose reputation was destroyed after sexting her ex-boyfriend, and Phillip, who was charged with child pornography after forwarding photos of his underage girlfriend and is slated to remain on the sex-offender registry until he's 43 years old.
A Thin Line works to stop the spread of digital abuse. A recent MTV and AP study found that three in 10 young people have sent or received nude "sext" messages, and 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.
The MTV News special "Sexting in America: When Privates Go Public," premieres Sunday, February 14, at 9 p.m. ET/PT.