HuffPost Teen Website Poster Image

HuffPost Teen

News for teens by teens, with access to adult topics.

What parents need to know

Educational value

Kids can learn about current events, and teen-specific issues from AIDS to pre-prom tanning rituals, all covered by teen journalists. While there's a fair amount of fluff -- articles offering DIY fashion tips and teen celeb news, there are also featured blogs posts on college tuition and friendship, and advice-oriented articles also offer tips on crafting gifts, learning to drive, and other items. Typical teen topics are represented, but youth journalists could cover more world news.

Positive messages

Many of the articles, covering subjects like teen bullying and ways to recover from a college rejection letter, have a positive bent.

Violence

Because it’s very easy to click from a HuffPost Teen item to the regular HuffPo site, kids can access articles on murders, school shootings, and other violent topics.

Sex

Links to articles on sexual harassment cases and other topics on the main HuffPo site -- which features an entire section on sex-related topics -- are on the teen site's homepage; conversations on HuffPost Teen about same-sex marriage and other topics also can get fairly heated.

Language

According to the site, comments are screened by moderators and automated filters before they’re posted. Comments aren't blocked due to opinions or political views -- but may not go live if they contain excessive language or harassment.

Consumerism

Ads for books are mixed with sponsored links to diet products and other items. The site also has some more subtle plugs -- like a headline for a link to a music video that proclaims the song is “CRAZY awesome.”

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Articles generally offer a responsible take on drugs and drinking, such as a series of video interviews with students answering the question, “Will it be weird if I don’t drink in college?" (Most say it won't be).

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that to post comments on the site, users need to either sign in with Facebook, Twitter, or another account or register. The site rejects young users from signing up (according to the user agreement, no information will be collected from anyone under age 13 -- attempts to sign up as a 12-year-old won’t work). Kids who get rejected due to age and then try to sign up using an older age from the same computer can’t register, which means they also can't post comments or create a profile.  
 

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What's it about?

As part of the Huffington Post news site, HuffPost Teen centers its coverage -- much of which is written by under-18 contributors -- on topics like getting into college and prom. However, more serious pieces, some of which are personal essay-type blog posts, deal with subjects like avoiding stereotypes and same-sex marriage. The site also features teen fiction and some celeb news coverage. Items generally have a positive tone, and comments are kept pretty clean, thanks to the site’s moderator review system.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

HUFFPOST TEEN, a section of the popular contributor-based HuffPo site geared toward high school-age readers, offers updates and advice on everything from navigating college life to making a dress prom-worthy. The content, which includes short articles, essays, and news about young celebs, is often written by teens -- and is right on target with that age group’s interests. Original fiction provided by Figment.com also offers a forum for creative teens.

However, while the content is, for the most part, upbeat and age appropriate, kids can easily stumble onto the main HuffPo site; its central subject areas are listed on the top of each page. If HuffPost Teen had a more separate identity/offered less access to the original site, it might feel like a safer space. But as long as kids can click over to articles on crime and make-up sex being like cocaine -- and a fair number of adults are still posting comments on HuffPost Teen -- parents may want to think twice about letting younger teens roam freely on the site.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the news items that are covered of the site -- which really appeal to your teen? How can they research the topic further, and how do they feel about the site’s coverage?

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  • The site posts news articles and essay-type, first-person stories and blogs -- plus teen fiction. What’s the difference between a news article and a narrative column? Which do teens feel they should rely on for accurate news?

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  • Readers can post comments on the articles and other items on the site. Because the comments often involve very personal reactions to the topics covered, some can be pretty intense. What kind of comments are OK to post when you’re sharing your feelings about a current events topic? And what comments might be considered too harsh?

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Website details

Subjects:Language & Reading: discussion, reading
Social Studies: cultural understanding, events
Skills:Thinking & Reasoning: analyzing evidence, thinking critically
Communication: conveying messages effectively, listening
Genre:Civic Engagement
Topics:High school
Price:Free
Pricing structure:Free

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