Sara and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad PSA

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The Ad Council, in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Justice and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, has developed a series of “Online Sexual Exploitation” public service advertisements designed “to educate teenage girls about the potential dangers of posting and sharing personal information online.” You can read more about the campaign here. Now, as a general matter, given what I do for a living, I err in favor of believing that educating people is a positive thing. However, the fact that there is a whole campaign directed specifically at “teenage girls” is kind of a warning sign that there is going to be some creepy and sexist blaming and shaming going on. Remember “This is your brain on drugs. Any questions?” It’s worse. Do I exaggerate? Decide for yourself.

–Ann Bartow, via Law Professor Dundee

Update: Two great comments with links that deserve enhanced visibility: Diane Dees provides a link to the Ad Council, so you can give them your input about this abomination, and Liz Losh notes she has highlighted some other creepy PSAs.

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0 Responses to Sara and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad PSA

  1. Diane says:

    It creeped me out, too. Now if they make one for boys, I may feel differently, but I suppose the only one they would make for boys would be homophobic. It needn’t be, though. I’d love to see one about a boy posting his sexual history and then getting on an escalator and being called a slut. Dream on, I know.

  2. bob coley jr says:

    I think Diane has it exactly! “The road to Hell is paved with good intentions” seems to apply here. Untill the mindset of the general public embraces REAL eqality, the education process will be skewed. Even if this result is unintentional, it’s ugly head reveals much about our progress toward REAL wisdom!

  3. lizlosh says:

    I agree. This campaign also linked to a larger super-creepy campaign from the Department of Justice. See http://virtualpolitik.blogspot.com/2007/04/jeepers-creepers.html to be appalled.

  4. lizlosh says:

    Sorry, I mean http://virtualpolitik.blogspot.com/2007/04/tap-dancing-routine.html
    (There are so many bad, sexist social marketing campaigns against teen’s using IT that it’s hard to keep track of them)

  5. Diane says:

    I wrote to the Ad Council. Here is the form: http://www.adcouncil.org/contactus.aspx