NEW YORK, N.Y.–In an effort to educate teens about how to be smart about what they post and share online, WhatsWhat.me–the safe, secure “kids-only” social network–has joined the Ad Council’s new collaborative initiative, the Internet Safety Coalition, to provide research-based messages to teens and their parents.
The collaboration will utilize the collective strengths of corporate marketers, the media, non-profit organizations and foundations to promote safe online and digital practices. Coalition members also include AOL, AT&T, Comcast, Google, the Interactive Advertising Bureau, IBM, Microsoft, MTV Networks, MySpace, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, The New York Times Company, Time Warner, Inc., Verizon Wireless, The Wireless Foundation and Yahoo! Inc., as well as other leading cybersafety organizations.
Vincent Cannistraro founder and CEO of WhatsWhat.me stated “We are thrilled to partner in the Ad Council’s Internet Safety Coalition teaching teens about conscious online behavior. As the ‘kids-only’ social network for 7-13-year-olds–WhatsWhat.me is a natural fit as we created our social network specifically to protect and teach kids positive online behavior in a safe, secure, ‘no bullying allowed’ environment. We believe this coalition is exactly what’s needed to create widespread awareness of the importance of youth cyber-safe behavior.”
Based on research and feedback from teens, the Ad Council, WhatsWhat.me, and the Internet Safety Coalition members worked with Merkley + Partners to develop a program entitled “Beware What You Share,” which communicates to teens that posting information online isn’t private, and if they wouldn’t broadcast it in real life, then it’s not smart to share it online or digitally, where it can be passed on, and will remain forever.
“We know that targeted and consistent communications programs have the power to change attitudes and behaviors regarding a multitude of social issues,” said Peggy Conlon, president & CEO of The Advertising Council. “By providing a range of organizations with research-based messages, this effort will encourage teens to be smart about what they post, which will ultimately help keep our children safer.”
The Coalition’s effectiveness will be measured by a tracking study and online audit conducted by the Ad Council. For more information about the coalition, visit www.internetsafetypartners.org.