MyDebates

Website review by
Dana Anderson, Common Sense Media
MyDebates Website Poster Image
MySpace gets users involved in the 2008 election.

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

Not yet rated

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this website.

Positive messages

Encourages teens and college students to watch the presidential debates, dig into the issues, register to vote, and get politically active. Some comments on the forum clearly don't pass the civil discourse test, but overall this site promotes good social and political interaction.

Violence

Debates and forum discussions sometimes raise issues like war, gun control, and terrorism, but no actual violence is shown.

Sex

As on MySpace.com, content depends largely on individual users' posts. Some users' forum photos are moderately sexually suggestive.

Language

While (so far) most comments on the forum appear remarkably respectful, some people post rude comments that include words like "crap" and "hell."

Consumerism

Ads for mainstream business like Foot Locker and Google. Political candidates' promos. Links to other MySpace sites that include ads.

Drinking, drugs & smoking

Debates and forums may discuss the drug trade and related issues in a political context.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this site -- a one-stop shop for the 2008 presidential election -- is part of MySpace.com and therefore best for older teens and up. Not all forum discussions pass the civil discourse test, but such is life both on and off the Internet when politics are involved. You don't need to be a member of MySpace to use most of the features on this site -- like watching the debates, registering to vote, and reading about the issues -- but you do have to join to post comments on the forums.

User Reviews

Adult Written byAsiakingtravel October 3, 2008
Adult Written bywallaceson September 5, 2009

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

What's it about?

MySpace's MYDEBATES.COM offers Web surfers a way to get politically active without ever leaving their laptop. Users can watch debates live, discuss political views on multiple forums, read more about the issues, take a quiz to find out who they most agree with, and more. When the debates are actually airing, viewers can also answer poll questions that pop up on their screen and visit an area of the site that presents the candidates' opinions on the subject at hand. The site provides links to the candidates' Web sites and MySpace pages and lets users register to vote, print out position papers, submit questions for future debates, and more.

Is it any good?

This comprehensive, easy-to-use site will likely motivate many teens and college students to get involved in this year's presidential election who might otherwise never have tuned into a debate or read about the issues. It's hard to keep political discourse civil in a relatively anonymous Internet setting, but overall MyDebates.com is a good place to get a sense of what other people are thinking and voice your own opinions.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why it's important to get information about political candidates from a variety of sources. Why is it important to watch candidates debate? Why should you check the "facts" that people post on the forum with another source? What sources should you use? Talk about why voters should always look at political information with a critical eye. If your teen isn't old enough to vote, discuss other ways to be politically involved.

Website details

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