Living online has its dangers: 50 percent of 14-to-24-year-olds say they've been the target of digital abuse and 30 percent have sent or received nude photos of other young people on their cell phones, according to a new study produced by MTV and The Associated Press.
The study's findings regarding sexting -- sending or receiving nude photos and videos, as well as raunchy texts -- suggest a lot of people end up in trouble because they're pressured, want to show off, or they mistakenly think their would-be romantic advances are going to remain private.
Sixty-one percent say they've been pressured to sext. About a quarter say they've sent naked images of themselves to someone they wanted to hook up with. A third sent them to people they say they've never met. And a fifth say they've forwarded the sexts to others out of boredom or to amuse themselves.
The study is part of an initiative called AThinLine.org, which MTV has established with partners including Facebook, MySpace, the Family Violence Prevention Fund and the Anti-Defamation League, as a place where young people who are victims of digital abuse can find help.
"Our audience lives online, and while every generation deals with their own set of abuse issues, the digital sphere exponentially increases opportunities for misuse," MTV's general manager, Stephen Friedman, said in announcing the program.