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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this the video uploading and social networking site about dancing was created by MC Hammer and friends, and although it promotes dancing, does have some iffy comments in the profiles, links to teens' personal MySpace pages, and sexually-charged dancing, photos, and images in videos. Some of the professional rap videos also have violent imagery -- fist fights, guns, crime, jail references. Site rules say you're supposed to be 16 to use it, but there are currently videos posted of dancers clearly under 16.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
From break dancing to krumping, Hollywood rap videos to homemade dance moves, DANCEJAM.COM has lots for dance enthusiasts to see -- and some content to avoid. The new social networking, dance promotion, and video sharing site for dancers created by MC Hammer includes users from Iowa to India who post their amateur dance videos and view others, as well as create personal profiles. Music industry players have started posting their videos, too. "Head-to-Head" dance competitions where viewers can vote on which dancer is the best is a popular feature.
Is it any good?
This site would be a winner for dancing teens if it followed its own rules about banning sexual explicit material. But, unfortunately, there's a mix of both positive content and stuff you don't really want your kid to see or read. Maybe once the site goes through its testing beta stage, the founder of this site will hammer out his intentions for the dance YouTube-MySpace hybrid on the Web.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how teens can safely use Web sites like this with both negative and positive content: Make use of the good features (viewing the dance tutorials and watching and voting on the head-to-head competitions), and report any inappropriate content. Also, discuss why it's hard to distinguish the professional material from advertising. Is a dancer/rapper who posts a profile on the site to socialize or advertise?
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