Parents' Guide to

Scratch

By Carla Thornton, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Block-based coder makes programming, animation accessible.

Scratch Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this website.

Community Reviews

age 8+

Based on 55 parent reviews

age 8+

Absolutely AWFUL

My overall experience with Scratch is absolutely awful. I used Scratch for several years and it started out okay. My overall experience learning code with it went pretty well. However, I believe some significant improvements could be made with their moderation. The moderation on Scratch is absolute CHAOS. The moderators (so called "Scratch Team..") have sent warnings and bans to so many users for completely illegitamate reasons. Even if the reasons aren't even against their "community guidelines." It happens a LOT and I am absolutely fed up with being banned so many times for the dumbest reasons. I cannot peacefully use this website without being in constant fear that my next ban is coming. Additionally, I've tried to appeal my bans and they have been BLOCKING MY EMAILS!!! Also, one time when I tried to appeal one of my bans, they said something that basically implied that I was a danger to their site and they LITERALLY told me to grow up and go educate myself. In short, Scratch is not a good choice for children or students mainly because of their terrible moderation and lack of professionalism. In case you're wondering, I have given up on Scratch entirely and do not plan to use it again.
age 7+

AWFUL moderators

Ok, I have a bit of a long story so buckle in. I really like the way the coding works. Coming from the point of view of someone who has basically no experience with code, it works pretty well. The tools are easy to learn and I'm a bit better at coding now. The scratch moderator team sucks. Let me tell you my story on this website. I started a religion as a joke. It was called "Clickstianity" and it was really funny. I was very clear that I was not discriminating against other religions, I was very nice to literally everyone, and I got permanently banned. First, my original animation about the religion was taken down automatically because people mass-reported it. They said they would put it under review and that it should be back up soon. It never came back up. I made a new animation, same thing happened. The newest one I made did not actually taken down, which was good because I spent a lot of time on it. One user, was overly christian and was harassing me about my religion calling it "fake" and a "cult". I told someone else about this through scratch and was banned for a week for "spreading rumors". I waited out my week ban and got back. I made some more projects and eventually got 100 followers. There were always people who would be toxic and hate on me, but I dealt with it. A few days later I was banned AGAIN for "spreading rumors". Whenever you get banned, it shows an example of the message that got you banned. I got banned for the same message that I already got banned for! I wrote an appeal, it only took them a few days to respond. Their response: Hi there, The Scratch website is a website that serves as an educational resource for children and their parents, teachers and their students, and people new to programming to learn about programming skills. But when we see users who have been blocked and notified so many times, we start thinking that they're not really interested in Scratch anymore, and we can no longer trust them. Based on your past history on the Scratch website, we don't think you'll be able to follow our Community Guidelines. Your account(s) will not be unblocked. Please do not use or make any Scratch accounts. Why??? They then proceeded to IP ban me, and any of my fans who were associated with the religion.

Privacy Rating Warning

  • Unclear whether personal information is sold or rented to third parties.
  • Unclear whether personal information are shared for third-party marketing.
  • Unclear whether this product displays personalised advertising.
  • Data are collected by third-parties for their own purposes.
  • Unclear whether this product uses a user's information to track and target advertisements on other third-party websites or services.
  • Unclear whether this product creates and uses data profiles for personalised advertisements.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (55 ):
Kids say (360 ):

This serves as a great introduction to coding logic, as well as a strong tool for self-expression, but there are still some safety concerns. Scratch stands out as an early entry in the coding-for-kids movement. This MIT brainchild has seen years of research and development and continues to have a loyal following in both classrooms and homes. Coding with blocks is widely accepted as an intuitive way for kids to start to understand some basic programming skills. The concept of remixing, or building on others' work, comes with some challenges, but encourages kids to not only collaborate with each other, but learn from each other. This open community model shines in many ways but does tend to leave kids open to mean behavior from other kids, as well as the occasional inappropriate bit of content. While there are adults actively involved in growing and moderating the community, they can't catch everything on their own and rely heavily on kids to report behavior and/or content that goes against community guidelines. There is an offline version of the tool, which will be a better fit for younger kids and those whose family members can't keep as close an eye. For others, though, Scratch can be a platform to share ideas, learn, and connect, all while building crucial STE(A)M skills.

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