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Metacafe

Video site is older than YouTube but not as kid friendly.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Like YouTube, the site is a grab bag of everything from  dreck like the Playboy Best Butt challenge to episodes of Biography, with plenty in between. The free-for-all certainly teaches kids freedom of speech, but parents will want to establish what they consider acceptable.   

Violence

Most videos on the site aren't violent but some are. Watch out for gory movie trailers, intense game demos, court-room beatings caught on tape, and disturbing clips such as the soccer player who collapses and dies on the field.

Sex

There's lots of adult-oriented material kids really shouldn't see. We found steamy movie and game previews, naughty Harry Potter parodies, ads for escort services, how-to sex tutorials and lots of naked flesh -- and that was with the Family Filter turned on. 

Language

The vast majority of clips are okay, but a few, mostly TV segments such as the Sarah Silverman Show, have crude language like f--k and a--hole. So do some of the unregulated public comments and forum posts.

Consumerism

There are ads everywhere you turn. Most of the products being advertised are G rated and the banners are tasteful, not junky-looking flash. However, searches can turn up related Google ads that are X-rated, and most of the videos on the site are preceded by long annoying commercials that put an awful lot of product placement in the user's way. In one hour of surfing we must have sat through the same 30-second Mucinex spot at least a dozen times. 

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

TV and movie clips that parody or treat these bad habits matter-of-factly seem to outnumber the educational videos.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this free online video site is not a great choice for kids. Raunchy content can't be filtered and the site has as many commercials as network TV. Kids can't upload an unlimited number of videos to this premium site, which features "best of" content, nor can they make videos private like they can on YouTube. With supervision, kids can have fun watching the safe stuff on Metacafe -- singing dogs, PBS, and old TV shows like the Partridge Family and the like. But they can find all that and more on YouTube plus instantly share homemade videos with family and friends.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

Metacafe has been around two years longer than YouTube yet has only a fraction of the content, not to mention popularity. What gives? Not a video-sharing site, Metacafe is a video "destination" that separates the good stuff from the chaff and features only the best user-uploaded videos. While the quality claim is debatable -- the selection looks a lot like YouTube's only skimpier -- handsome Metacafe does have a much more elegant look, while YouTube still has that stripped-down Craig's List vibe. But that's where the advantages end, at least for families. Metacafe's content filter is useless -- unless you happen to think soft porn is fine family fare.  And Metacafe has no privacy option for users who don't want the whole world seeing their clips. The site's endless commercials could drive anyone batty. Sleek and well organized and worth a look if you're an adult out for a little video entertainment? Yes indeedy. But Metacafe can't compete with the people's choice of YouTube.

Online interaction: Users can flag objectionable videos and comments but there are no special protections for kids.  Comments are usually civil but can be lewd, depending on the video being discussed. The site doesn't monitor emails between users.
 

Families can talk about...

  • YouTube is one of the most popular Internet sites of all time and for good reason. Watching and uploading videos can be enormous fun, especially for kids, but not all YouTube content is harmless, so parents should supervise as necessary. Common Sense has put together several guides to help parents and kids get the most out of YouTube.  Help gradeschoolers manage their YouTube use. Guide your kids’ digital media creation efforts, and stay on top of what your teens are doing on YouTube.

Website details

Genre:Video Sites
Pricing structure:Free

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Teen, 15 years old Written bySook May 31, 2010

Bad site

This site is a lot worse than YouTube or Livevideo. Any person can lie about their age and see something nasty.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Safety and privacy concerns
Kid, 10 years old July 31, 2012

HORRIBLE WEBSTIE!!

this website is not for kids.when the family filter was on lots of inappropiate things still came up. like how to have ***. or people having ***. parents, dont let your kids on this until they are 18 or older.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Kid, 12 years old February 14, 2012

Kids Dont Play This Junk or Crappy stuff

this is for 13 year olds?ha ha this makes me laugh not really this is adult stuff see people naked that,s gross i wanna vomit if that happended dont play this sg or so gross mom and dads and parents never play it oh my sick of this games people make safe games for kids we are just kids please help us
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Safety and privacy concerns