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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this website.
Kids can learn to write articles, take photographs, organize information, and create a magazine to share with the world. They also can learn about nearly any subject by reading through the magazines other users have uploaded. Kids can learn that anyone can be a journalist if they have the time and interest. They'll also learn to promote and share their magazine through social media and other channels; reaching readers is half the fun! Issuu is a cool platform that lets kids share their ideas with the world, but the amount of content -- and its poor search mechanism -- could make the site overwhelming for some.
Kids will be empowered by creating their own content for a magazine. The process could give them confidence and make them excited about sharing their work.
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Even using Safe Search, which claims to filter inappropriate content, we saw a lot of sexual imagery both in the fashion section and when we did a specific search for "sex." (And with the Safe Search off? Extreme explicit nudity.)
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
The site has thousands of magazines to browse through, and some of them will inevitably contain profanity.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Some magazines focus on cocktail culture, while others are devoted to marijuana use.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Issuu is a website where people can browse thousands of user-designed magazines or upload and share their own. It's very visual and interesting, and it's stocked with all kinds of content. However, it's not a site where you want your kids randomly clicking around. There are some magazines for kids, but the search function doesn't make them easy to find. Some magazines are more professional than others; since anyone can put their content on Issuu, there's a lot of mediocre stuff to wade through. Under the CCPA law you have the right to protect your personal information. Make a Do Not Sell request to issuu.
Is It Any Good?
The selection is incredible. It's like browsing the world's largest newsstand, except everything is free. Looking for a high-design magazine all about Star Trek? It has it. A magazine about golf in central Florida? It's here, too. However, unlike a magazine shop in the real world, inappropriate content isn't hidden behind the counter. It comes up pretty easily, even with the Safe Search setting on. However, the site has some outstanding content for kids -- it's just a matter of finding it. There's no specific section for kids, and a search for "kids" brings up everything from Russian lingerie catalogs to a KISS Kids comic book (yes, the band).
It can be hard to find particular topics; a more defined category system would be really helpful, especially for kids trying to find the content meant for them. If kids want to contribute their own magazine to the site, they need to design it using their own software and then upload it, which could feel like extra work. The main concern, however, is what happens when kids casually browse Issuu; inappropriate content is easy to come across, whether it's explicit sex manuals or marijuana-growing guides. A separate site, like an Issuu for Kids, or an effective filter would make this a much safer place for young people to explore their interests.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.