A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that teens shouldn't go anywhere near this popular video-sharing site even though users as young as 13 can register to create a profile, upload photos and video, and post comments. Yes, there are some G-rated videos that are fine for kids of all ages, but despite the community guidelines that caution against excessive cursing, dissing, and hate speech, all of these abound in the comments -- particularly misogynist, racist, and homophobic insults that are sometimes tinged with violence. A majority of the so-called funny videos show people getting hurt or humiliated. Some videos include sex acts, and there's a whole section of "spicy photos" with bare-breasted women. Users might also stumble across links to porn sites. There's also a lot of advertising and sponsored content, including from companies that sell alcohol.
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- Kids say
What's it about?
BREAK.COM is a video-sharing site that purports to be a "cutting edge community" for "men 15-35." Users can create a profile, upload photos and videos, and post comments. The site's videos, photos, and games come from users, Break.com editors, and content partners. Popular themes include sex ("Two Girls Kissing"), humiliation ("Trapped in an Elevator...with Diarrhea"), and pain (tons of Jackass-type stunts gone wrong). Users can win money for submitting videos that make the cut.<
Is it any good?
Some of the videos are pretty funny (if racy), like "Sex Toy Helicopter Interrupts Speech," and there are even a few cute, G-rated clips like "Panda Sneeze Attack." But most of the so-called funny videos are only "funny" if you enjoy watching people getting hurt or humiliated. And what's really not funny are all the comments about "towelheads," "whores," "faggots," etc. -- and the fact that the site doesn't seem to do much to stop them. Forget the target age range -- Break.com is definitely not for teens.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how being anonymous online can bring out the worst in people. Why do some people seem to enjoy one-upping each other with hateful remarks? What's "funny" about watching someone get hurt or embarrassed? Who is the audience for this type of "entertainment"?