A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this website.
Kids can learn about education, discrimination, and a lot more. They'll find out about anti-bullying efforts, disaster relief, animal welfare, being green, sexual health, and politics. Teens can also practice communicating by posting comments. The celeb tie-ins should interest kids, but additional interactive elements would help keep them engaged; the site offers a lot to read, but you're often directed to another site or sent offline to take action. There's some fluff, but MTV Act's emphasis on getting teens excited about making a difference balances out the trivial stuff.
The site focuses heavily on volunteering and ways to be socially responsible.
Violence & Scariness
User can come across news items about manslaughter and rape.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A weekly relationship advice column from MTV Act and MTV's It's Your Sex Life campaign takes a pro-responsibility/self-empowerment approach to topics like condom use and teen pregnancy.
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Swears are abbreviated in stories ("s--t," "f--k"), but words like "damn" and "hell" are used. Although most comments seem to be clean, you can use words like "damn" and "f--k" in user posts, and some stories link to uncensored posts on Twitter and other sites with bad language.
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Products & Purchases
Expect frequent plugs for musicians, MTV shows, and frequent ads.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
News items discuss drug-related celebrity crime; blog posts tackle substance abuse and related topics.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that users need to either sign in using Facebook or Twitter or register to post comments. You need to be 14 or older to register; however, if you're rejected because you enter a younger age, you can easily try again with a new birth date and gain access.
Is It Any Good?
MTV retooled think.mtv.com into MTV ACT, billed as a place "where fist pumping and lending a helping hand collide," in February 2011. Activism and music celebs are still center stage--but the news is presented in blog format. At the end of each post, readers are prompted to take action by posting a comment (although many recent entries don't have any), sharing the item on Facebook, donating, or visiting a related organization's site. Separate sections link to sites with green tips, volunteer gigs, and other ways to help. Some posts seem to have a touch of commercial influence--but the site wins points for its upbeat, encouraging tone. Even if you don't love the musicians who are mentioned, it's hard to discredit MTV Act's mission; empowering teens to spend their time online tackling world issues is a noble effort.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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