A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Flickr is a hip place for kids to store, manage, and share digital photos and videos online. If users set their photos to public, the whole world can view them. This also means kids can see photos you may find offensive (naked bodies, sexual toys, people doing drugs, gunshot wounds). As stated in the community guidelines, no photos of frontal nudity, genitalia, or intimate moments are allowed, but simple searches prove that these rules aren't strictly enforced.
What's it about?
FLICKR provides a place for kids to upload, organize, and share their digital photos and videos. A free membership to the site includes a huge amount of storage per month. A \"pro\" membership -- an unlimited amount of storage -- is also available for an annual fee. All memberships come with your own web page, complete with personalized URL. When kids upload things to their personal accounts, they choose who can see them: family, friends, or the public. Emails with links to their page are sent to family and friends; or, if the public category is chosen, flickr.com visitors (not necessarily members) can find images and videos by searching tags or member profiles.
Is it any good?
There are several features that make Flickr.com worthy. If you have a special event or interest, you can put photos or videos from different sources in a "Private Group." For example, someone can start a senior prom group and anyone who took pictures from that night can upload his or her photos to share with others. Kids can also send Flickr Mail (mail between members) and search by member profiles, tags, or groups. Flickr also works with third parties to offer DVD slideshows, photo books, posters, calendars, blogs, and postage stamps -- all featuring your photos -- to buy.
The main drawback to Flickr.com is that it's easy to access other members' stuff, allowing curious kids to find things you may not want them to see. Monitoring what your kid sees on the site proves difficult as content is constantly being uploaded. Flickr.com does provide community guidelines on posting, but quick searches on the site prove that these rules aren't being enforced diligently or quickly enough: Examples of frontal nudity, genitalia, and photos of intimate moments can all be found. Content can be reported by clicking on a "may offend" link.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what makes a photo or video appealing: How do light and color affect them? Do you like more abstract images? What's your favorite subject you like to see?
Families can browse through the site's "Explore" area to see noteworthy stuff.
Using today's powerful technology tools to create digital media comes with new responsibilities. Read our tips on creating with digital media.
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