99Problems

Common Sense Media says

News site with good intentions but some iffy content.

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Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The site's goal of educating young people about current issues and empowering them to take action is a proactive stance on presenting the news.

Violence

Since the articles involve local and national news, some touch on topics like police brutality and gun-related violence.

Sex

One video features a naked man yelling racial slurs on a subway train.

Language

Some songs featured on the site contain slurs and words like "f--king."

Consumerism

Part of the site plugs new music from various recording artists; the Pepsi Refresh Project is also a featured sponsor.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

One video involves Montel Williams discussing medical marijuana use; another article insinuates that the prison sentence given to a marijuana user was too harsh.

Privacy & safety

You don't have to register to post a comment, but are asked to enter a name and email address.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that kids may encounter mature content on 99problems.org, including language, news articles dealing with violent issues, and an occasional video with nudity. Kids can post comments on any of the news articles without registering. They're just asked to enter a name and e-mail address; without having to first select a username, there's a chance kids could enter their real name and identify themselves to other site users.

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Kids say

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QUALITY
 

99PROBLEMS.ORG was launched in 2009 by The League of Young Voters Education Fund, which encourages young people to vote and create change on a local and national level. The site serves as a sounding board for users to learn about and comment on current news, with content ranging from video clips and links to news articles about topics like women's rights in Saudi Arabia, immigration, and police brutality.

Some of the articles are great -- topical, informative, and written in a conversational, friendly tone teens can identify with. However, the design could use some tweaking -- there's a lot going on with the site's homepage, including a column of posts that seems a little too long. Also, some of the site content, such as a video someone took on their phone of a naked man, really miss the mark -- and aren't appropriate for younger users who've come to the site for news (not nudity).

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why it's important to be informed about what's going on in the world. What news topics interest you?

  • The site covers a variety of topics, including criminal justice, being green, and immigration. What kind of problems in your community -- or country -- are you concerned about?

  • How can you tell the difference between stories from traditional news outlets -- like the clips posted on the site from "Good Morning America" and other TV news shows -- and videos that are not from reputable news outlets (like something a person uploaded from their cell phone)? Is "news" from citizen journalists valuable?

Website details

Genre:Civic Engagement
Pricing structure:Free

This review of 99Problems was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Kid, 10 years old January 16, 2012
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What other families should know
Too much sex

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