Experience Human Trafficking Through MTV’s Digital ‘Backstory’

“MTV‘s college station, mtvU, launched a digital experience Wednesday, created to teach students about the harsh realities of human trafficking.

The Backstory,” the video experience, is the latest component of mtvU’s Against Our Will campaign, which unites students in the growing movement to end modern-day slavery. The interactive site was inspired by four James Madison University students who won mtvU’s Against Our Will Challenge, which calls for students to innovate with digital tools to spread awareness for modern slavery. The Backstory puts you in the position of a victim of sex trafficking or labor trafficking victim. After completing the experience, you’ll learn ways to get involved with the ongoing fight to end human trafficking.

The experience (which doesn’t work in all browsers) begins with a list of ads that resemble Craigslist posts. If you select one such ad, titled “No Questions No Papers Just EZ Money,” you’ll see the following post:

Free Rent and Money for School in Exchange for Housekeeping.
Large, clean room.
Looking for honest, HARD WORKING person.
Duties: vacuum, dusting, laundry, shop for groceries, and occasional cooking.
Serious Inquiries Only. No Papers Needed. Please call 555-1313 for further information.

One can understand why a college student struggling to finance their education would respond to the ad to learn more. You can then click to learn the Backstory, and see what happened to the young man who replied to this ad. If you connect with your Facebook account, the experience integrates your photos into the experience.

The narrative includes videos of dancers from Ailey II, music from Kenna, and text read by Talib Kweli, all of which were inspired by the stories of modern day slavery in the U.S.”
To read more and see the videos, click here.