A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that BuzzFeed is a website that attempts to comment on news events and current social trends. Comments contain either a user's site account or Facebook account. If users are logged into Facebook, they can post comments without signing up, but this comes with a privacy and safety trade-off; Facebook user profile information is accessible to anyone who clicks on a name unless that account is set to private. Content on BuzzFeed definitely strays toward the mature; though there are disclaimers, users can frequently see nudity, sexual content, graphic injuries, loads of profanity, and posts praising or talking about drug and alcohol use. There's also a lot of advertising, with some posts actually sponsored by various companies and manufacturers.
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- Kids say
What's it about?
News and entertainment website BUZZFEED -- founded by a Huffington Post creator -- says it shares its list-themed posts, quizzes, and other items with a global audience of more than 200 million. The site's content is a mix of short videos, pet pictures, celebrity features, and attention-grabbing headlines that promise to inform readers about everything from 19 versions of pizza from around the world to breaking news they might find on CNN or MSNBC.
Is it any good?
BuzzFeed posts cover the gamut from thought-provoking social injustice issues to funny yet not really educational GIF-based lists. Celebrity news items pop up fairly frequently, and popular posts are marked with labels such as "omg" and "cute." It’s easy to get sucked into reading more than you'd planned; content suggestions appear below and beside posts, and you can choose from more than two dozen topics. You'll need to search for keywords to find precise reading selections; finding posts on health, for example, is simple -- but locating ones on seasonal allergies isn't as easy because posts don't have highly specific tags.
Finding content really isn't a huge issue on BuzzFeed. But the type of content may be of concern to many parents, since the site doesn't seem to have a lot of restrictions. Some posts contain swearing, nudity, and violent images -- a bevy of things parents likely wouldn't want younger users (or some older teens) to see. Viewing the site together may help parents keep kids from clicking posts meant for an older audience.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how much time you should spend on sites such as BuzzFeed that have a lot to read and look at. How can kids balance screen time and offscreen activities?
How can you tell if a site that has some kid-friendly posts, such as puppy videos, is OK for kids? Talk about what kinds of posts might be too adult for kids.
If you're logged into Facebook, you can easily post comments on BuzzFeed without registering for the site. But if your Facebook username is your full name, is that safe? View your child's page as a random Facebook user to ensure private information isn’t visible.
- Subjects: Language & Reading: discussion, reading
Science: biology, chemistry, ecosystems
Social Studies: events, global awareness, power structures
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: investigation, part-whole relationships
Self-Direction: academic development, personal growth
- Genre: Blogging
- Pricing structure: Free