Bolt

Website review by
Susan Yudt, Common Sense Media
Bolt Website Poster Image

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Ho-hum social site with lots of ads, iffy content.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this website.

Positive Messages

Some rude, mean comments on profiles and in forums.

Violence
Sex

Videos of girls dancing around in their underwear, "sexy" profile pics of both guys and girls, sexual comments.

Language

Plenty of profanity, including "f--k" and "c--k." (A sample: "Would you like my c--k meat sandwich?")

Consumerism

A lot of advertising, including some ads masquerading as content.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A few images of smoking and drinking, and references to drinking, pot, and ecstasy.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this long-standing social networking site contains profanity, lewd and rude comments, and suggestive photos and videos, including a lot of featured content about "hot girls." There's prominent advertising throughout the site, including ads that are mixed in with content, such as videos promoting other Web sites. Teens can create profiles with photos and post information about themselves. Privacy settings allow users to restrict access to their profiles.

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What's it about?

Before MySpace, Facebook, and hundreds of similar sites, there was BOLT.COM, an online teen community founded back in 1996, when many of today's social networkers were still in diapers. Today's Bolt.com has the standard features of most social sites: Users can create a profile, upload photos and videos, post comments, blog, and participate in forums. There's also a "tagbook" section, in which teens pose questions like "What song do you sing in the shower?" or "How do you get over a breakup?" -- as well as many more off-color inquiries.

Is it any good?

While Bolt may have been groundbreaking back in the '90s, today, there's not much that distinguishes it from other social sites. There's a lot of scatological humor and videos of scantily clad "hot girls," as well as a preponderance of advertising -- including those extremely annoying animated "claim your prize!" ads. Not that creative -- and not that good, either.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about safety with social networking sites. How do you know if you can trust someone online? What are the potential pitfalls of sharing personal information online? What kind of information and images should be off limits?

Website details

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