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MTV Launches Social Net with Activist Spin

MTV Launches New Social Activism Network

MTV recently announced the launch of a new Internet social network designed to be a resource for social and political issues. lets users connect with other like-minded people on issues from the environment to sexual health and discrimination and hopes to encourage youth activism on these and a number of other topics. lets users create pages (similar to social networks Facebook and MySpace) and upload photos and videos, some of which may be aired on MTV's online or cable network. The test launch of the site was Thursday, September 20, and came just weeks after MTV struck a deal with News Corp's MySpace social network to host a series of discussions between U.S. presidential candidates and Internet viewers that will be streamed online. The presidential discussions will also air on

MTV has a long history in stoking youth interest in political and social issues and aims to close the gap between the high interest in activism among young people and the comparatively lower levels of action. An MTV poll last year showed that 80 percent of respondents said doing something to help the community was the right thing to do, but only 19 percent were "very involved" in such efforts.

MTV said organizations and celebrities that will use the site include the United Nations, the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, actor Leonardo DiCaprio and musician Bono. Finally, Think.MTV and the Knight Foundation will award up to $500,000 to young creators who come up with an idea to use digitally delivered news to improve communities.

The site is backed by funding from AOL founder Steve Case's Case Foundation, Microsoft Corp co-founder Bill Gates's Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Goldhirsh Foundation and MCJ Foundation. For more information about Think.MTV, please visit

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