Online anonymity is a boon to some. Under the guise of an anonymous handle, these entities could abuse, bully or stalk ignorant victims on cyber space, sometimes leading to suicide on the victim’s part. And safety on the web is getting increasingly difficult with the rising number of stalkers on the internet. In a move to tackle this, MTV India, the youth channel, along with NGO Cyber Crime Awareness Society (CCAS) has launched a new TV show called ‘MTV Webbed’, beginning September 14, 2013 at 7 pm every Saturday.
Through the new drama series, the show plans to create awareness and educate the youth on the right safety measures – what to do if you are a victim of cyber bullying, which is so common nowadays. How to avoid being stalked, how to stop your email from being hacked, etc? The show would describe how not taking the necessary precautions on the web can lead to such disasters. The 10-part series is being hosted by a bunch of young television actors to connect better with the young, social-savvy audience.
In addition to the TV show, the awareness drive also has a digital entity in the form of a website “MTV Webbed’. Categorised as ‘Videos’ and ‘Confessions’, a viewer can watch short 5-second videos that give an idea about what’s on the show, and also confess to being exploited on the internet. The ‘Confessions’ section has been kept simple. One can add their name and confession in the box provided; optionally one can also share a YouTube link or upload a video confession.
‘Webbed’ is also creating a buzz on the social media platforms of MTV India, using the hashtag #Webbed to drive conversations. The 879K strong Twitter follower base of the channel are being invited to tweet to participate in #Webbed, add their confessions and stand against cyber abuse. Engagement is also happening while the show is on air, with the Twitter account talking about the specific episode. A few posts about Webbed have been shared on the Facebook wall for its 4.9 million fan base.
MTV India has been gunning for the cause of the youth and cyber abuse is a major concern. As reported, 2012 saw 47.9 per cent rise in cyber forgery and 39.1 per cent rise in cyber fraud being reported under IPC category for cyber crimes. With this new initiative, the channel further establishes its brand identity, while also proving useful to its young, socially inclined viewers.