Babelgum

(i)

 

Diverse collection of videos ranges from tame to iffy.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Some videos highlight topics like the importance of volunteering, and many encourage filmmaking and the arts, but the wide range of videos comes with a wide range of messages.

Violence

One video features girls jokingly electrocuting one girl's boyfriend; another black-and-white retro movie involves a man saving his decapitated wife's head in a coat after a car accident to attach it on another body. In another, blood-soaked vampires make out.

Sex

Several shorts feature sex-related content, including videos with an elderly woman discussing her porn career (with quick shots of it), a graphic cartoon about sex with naked characters, and "ads" for an "escort and computer help" service for congressmen.

Language

"S--t" appears in videos, as well as tamer words like "damn," but overall the site seems to make an effort to limit bad language. Part of an Ice Cube song is censored in a video, and many of the videos don't include swearing.

Consumerism

Ads for items like pistachios precede many of the videos (along with a sponsorship message from the company).

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

A comedy video in which kids portray the "Real Housewives of New Jersey" features a written joke about drugs; a couple of joke-of-the-day videos are about drinking.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that some clips on the Babelgum video site mention or involve discussion of sexual content, iffy language, and some violence. Users can't upload videos, and you don't need to register to watch the videos; but if you're 13 or older you can register in order to create a video playlist.

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QUALITY

BABELGUM features a diverse collection of free videos, ranging from musician interview clips to full-length black-and-white movies. Some were created for other sites and others are Babelgum originals. There are several for-adults-only videos -- such as a preview for a documentary about an elderly woman's porn career (it emphasizes positive body image but still, she's seemingly naked and being groped).

Yet, much of the content is relatively tame. One of the more iffy videos on the "NSFW" comedy section, for example, involves characters mentioning a sex contest-winning alien and a blurred out image of an alien groin. Surprisingly, there also isn't much swearing on the site. You may not want to let your kids roam unsupervised -- but creating a playlist of pre-approved options and watching them together will allow your kid to enjoy the site's kid-friendly offerings.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how kids can safely search for videos on the Internet. How can you tell if a site's videos are kid-friendly?

  • It's easy to get sucked into video sites for hours -- there's often plenty to watch! But how much time is too much time to spend on a website (or in front of screens, in general)?

Website details

Genre:Video Sites
Pricing structure:Free

This review of Babelgum was written by

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