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Catfish + A THIN LINE

In December 2009, MTV launched A THIN LINE – a broad-based, multi-year campaign empowering America’s youth to identify, respond to, and stop the spread of digital abuse.  Digital abuse is an issue that includes behaviors like sexting, cyber-bullying and digital dating abuse and affects a large majority of young people today. A recent MTV and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research survey found that found that nearly half of young people report experiencing digital abuse, and nearly 40% of young people in a relationship report experiencing some type of digital dating abuse.

MTV has built a coalition of the foremost authorities on these topics, and is addressing the issue through thought-provoking PSAs, on-air programming, innovative online and mobile tools, and curricula.

In 2013, the A THIN LINE campaign partnered with MTV’s hit series Catfish: The TV Show, which features Nev Schulman and Max Joseph in their cross-country journey uniting young couples taking their online-only romantic relationships offline and in person. The signature element of the partnership is the “Catfish Guide to Avoiding Digital Drama,” a series of three animated videos featuring voiceover from Nev and Max in which they share anecdotes and advice on topics like sexting, impersonation, and online relationships. The videos were created in association with MTV (other), MTV’s new content lab that focuses on new-form video content, and featured original animation from three animators with diverse styles that brought the stories to life.

The campaign is driving meaningful engagement among its core demographic, and has already inspired over 1.5M young people to take action and help stop the spread of digital abuse.