Common Sense Media, Yahoo! Safely, and MTV Stand Up to Cyberbullying with Live-Streamed Town Hall Events

For immediate release
Wednesday, September 28, 2011

MTV’s SuChin Pak will moderate Oct. 18 Chicago town hall for parents, teens, and teachers; New York event to follow in early 2012

Supporting partners include The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, The McCormick Foundation, and Chicago Public Schools

 

San Francisco – Common Sense Media, the national nonprofit organization dedicated to helping kids thrive in a digital world, today announced it has partnered with Yahoo! Safely and MTV’s “A THIN LINE” campaign to host two live-streamed, interactive town halls to celebrate young people who stand up to cyberbullying. The first town hall will take place in the city of Chicago’s Field Museum on Oct. 18 during National Bullying Prevention Month, with The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, The McCormick Foundation, and Chicago Public Schools as supporting partners. The interactive town hall is part of a coordinated commitment by Common Sense Media and their partners to provide parents and educators with the tools and information they need to help young people understand the role they play in cyberbullying, and to empower them to stop it.

 

“Our kids are growing up online, and they make critical decisions about how to navigate this rapidly changing media and technology landscape every day,” said James Steyer, CEO and founder, Common Sense Media. “This town hall collaboration is a remarkable opportunity to have a national, interactive conversation about how to empower kids to take a stand against cyberbullying, by practicing safe, smart, and respectful digital behavior.”

 

The town halls, which will be streamed live exclusively by Yahoo! Safely will bring teens, parents, and teachers together to celebrate those who stand up and step in when they see bullying happening, and explore the challenges and opportunities of growing up in a public and powerful online world. The first event in October will be moderated by MTV News correspondent SuChin Pak and will feature scenes from Beyondmedia Education’s “Your Social Life,” a documentary about Chicago public school teens, parents, and teachers and the impact technology has had on their lives.

 

“Educating children, parents, educators, and communities about safer online experiences has been a longtime company priority for Yahoo!,” said Megan Cristina, director of trust and safety, Yahoo!. “Streaming the discussion on Yahoo! Safely allows users worldwide the opportunity to participate in the conversation and join us in standing up to cyberbullying.”

 

“Young people today are constantly connected, unlike any generation before them,” said Jason Rzepka, vice president of public affairs, MTV. “By teaming up with best-in-class organizations like Common Sense Media, we hope to partner with our audience, empowering them to develop a new code of ethics for the digital age.” 

 

The second town hall will take place in New York in the beginning of 2012. The events are part of Common Sense Media’s groundbreaking digital citizenship curriculum, which was developed with significant support from the MacArthur Foundation, and is taught in more than 18,000 schools across the country. In addition to helping kids manage issues such as cyberbullying and online privacy, the digital literacy curriculum covers safety and security, research and information literacy, and empowers students to think critically and make informed choices about how they live and treat others in today’s digital media world.

 

For more information about the town hall, visit www.commonsense.org/standup, and follow the conversation on Twitter at #standup. For more information about Common Sense Media’s anti-cyberbullying campaign, visit www.commonsense.org/cyberbullying. To watch the town hall live stream, visit safely.yahoo.com/teens/townhall.

 

About Common Sense Media

Common Sense Media is dedicated to improving the lives of kids and families by providing the trustworthy information, education, and independent voice they need to thrive in a world of media and technology. We exist because our kids are growing up in a culture that profoundly impacts their physical, social, and emotional well-being. We provide families with the advice and media reviews they need in order to make the best choices for their children. Through our education programs and policy efforts, Common Sense Media empowers parents, educators, and young people to become knowledgeable and responsible digital citizens. For more information, go to: www.commonsense.org.

 

About Yahoo! Safely

Yahoo!’s Trust and Safety team educates and empowers users to help them create meaningful, trustworthy and safer online experiences.

 

Yahoo! Safely (safely.yahoo.com) is the Trust and Safety team’s localized online resource available in 27 countries across 14 languages. The website is designed to inform teens, parents, and educators about important topics such as managing your digital reputation and learning how to minimize risks on mobile devices, as well as provides guidance on how to use specific Yahoo! products safely.

 

About MTV’s “A THIN LINE” Campaign

Launched in 2009, MTV’s “A THIN LINE” campaign empowers America’s youth to identify, respond to, and stop the spread of digital abuse, which includes all forms of digital bullying, dating abuse, and discrimination. MTV is addressing these issues through thought-provoking PSAs, integration into MTV's top-rated shows, innovative online and mobile tools, and curricula.  Additionally, as part of the campaign, MTV will premiere an original TV movie, (DIS)CONNECTED, on Monday, October 10 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.  (DIS)CONNECTED tells the story of four young people whose lives unexpectedly collide online and illustrates how growing up digital can complicate life and love. The film, which was first announced during the White House Conference on Bullying Prevention and will air during National Bullying Prevention Month, is inspired in part by the true, tragic tale of Abraham Biggs, a 19-year-old who battled bipolar disorder and ultimately webcast his suicide after being egged on by a digital mob.  For more information on MTV’s “A THIN LINE” please head to www.ATHINLINE.org

 

Press Contacts:

Marisa Connolly
Common Sense Media
415-553-6703
mconnolly@commonsense.org

 

Janice Gatti
MTV
212-846-8852
Janice.gatti@mtvstaff.com

 

Amber Allman
Yahoo!
aallman@yahoo-inc.com

 

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Topics

Cyberbullying