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The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Ello is a simply designed social network that, unlike Facebook, is ad-free. Kids are supposed to either know someone who belongs to the site to get invited, but they also can send a request to site administrators to join. Because the site is invite-only, kids should, in theory, only be interacting with people they know. However, you can send friend requests to users whose posts are highlighted in the Noise feed, so they could possibly come into contact with strangers.
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What's it about?
ELLO was created by seven artists and programmers as an ad-free social-networking site. It's currently invite-only -- you can submit a request to join (which you may not hear back about for some time) or be asked an Ello member. The site, which is still in beta, currently limits the amount of new users you can follow to 100 per day. Content is divided into a Friends stream, featuring activity from users you know, and Noise, which contains select posts from the Ello community.
Is it any good?
ELLO was founded on a no-ad policy in response to Facebook's increasingly ad-heavy feeds. That doesn't necessarily mean you'll never come across somewhat promotional content -- companies can join the site, and because the criteria for choosing items for the Noise feed isn't 100 percent clear, that section could, at some point, potentially become an outlet for ad-esque posts (or only a bunch of things you have no interest in looking at). That said, the site's design is pretty simple, due in part to the lack of ads, which feels like a refreshing change from other over-cluttered social media sites. You don't have to wade through a ton of items to find out what your friends have been up to, and the site says it doesn't sell any data about users to third parties.
Ello's still coming together -- it has a long list of in-the-works features, some of which parents may be interested in, including a filter that will let you hide NSFW content from your news feed. Adult guidance, at least for now, may be necessary to ensure your child has a safe experience, but generally, the content seems fairly kid-friendly.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can discuss friending users you don't know. Should you accept all friend requests, even if you haven't met the person in real life?
Should you ever accept a friend request from someone you don't know who's connected to a friend of yours? Whats kind of issues could result from talking to a stranger online?
How should you react if a friend posts an inappropriate comment on your profile or sends you a hurtful or mean message?
For kids who love social networking
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