A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that while the site advises users to use discretion when sharing personal information, it's easy to follow total strangers -- or be followed. Users can see what you've commented on, then respond to your posts. And, if Mashable COO Adam Hirsch's profile is any indication, you may get your fair share of spam: Users have posted comments for him about emailing to get personal photos, unblocking websites at work, and seeking him "for true friendship."
What's it about?
Like many other news sites, Mashable covers recent events; users can also check out videos and articles on business, entertainment, and other topics. However, the site's heavy integration with social media sites like Facebook and Twitter -- to post comments, you'll need to sign in using one -- and casual tone differentiates it from many other current event sites. Users can follow subjects on a regular basis or just view a list of trending topics. Mashable also has a job board and can be downloaded as an app for an iPhone, iPad, or other device.
Is it any good?
Social media-centric news site MASHABLE includes short, snappy articles on recent U.S. and global news topics, lifestyle features, and other news. To customize your coverage, you can opt to receive a daily e-newsletter and follow specific topics (and people -- including celebrities and Mashable execs). However, if you're not social media-savvy, don’t worry: The site also has a how-to section with tips on using LinkedIn and other sites. Mashable’s format is pretty straightforward, and the writing is conversational without being too casual (it still feels like a news site -- with a touch of tabloid journalism). However, because of the emphasis on merging Mashable with your social networking profile, parents are likely to have some concerns. One potential solution: Monitor how your teen accesses the site. Users can read the articles (which tend to be more newsworthy than negligently scandalous) without logging in -- but they can't leave comments unless they connect via Facebook or Twitter.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what they thought of the news coverage -- did the topics interest them? Did they feel like the writing was easy to understand and sounded unbiased?
The site includes a strong focus on social media. How does your child typically find out about big news items: through sites like Facebook and Twitter or in the newspaper? Discuss the different ways both outlets prepare and share breaking news. Parents may want also want to check out our social networking tips.
Readers can post comments on the site. Are kids wondering what kinds of comments are acceptable to post? If it's OK to say anything they want because they're giving an opinion on recent news topics? Take a look at our advice about manners in the digital age.
For kids who love social sites
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.