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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this is Yahoo!'s new destination for everything celebrity-related, with photos and video galore. It seems more wholesome than other celeb news and gossip sites, with a marked lack of footage (so far, anyway) showcasing young Hollywood's inebriation or lack of interest in underwear. News stories come from reliable sources like Reuters and AP, and state the facts, without gossipy speculation. Comments, on the other hand, include many a rant for or against a particular celebrity, some of which escalate to trash talking that includes religious or racial slurs. Comment monitoring seems to be in the hands of users, with a "Report Abuse" function that sends a message to customer support. Unilever and Pepsi are the site's exclusive sponsors and feature ads that are understated and well integrated into the site's layout.
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What's it about?
Yahoo! has launched OMG.YAHOO.COM, where visitors can get celebrity news updates 24/7, or browse by "Hot Topics" or "Celebs." All the usual suspects can be found in frequent rotation, with news stories, photos, and videos detailing their recent adventures: Paris' journey in and out of the slammer, followed by her post-prison R&R jaunt to Hawaii; Brangelina and their international brood; Katie Holmes' new "I'm in Charge" hairdo; Posh and Becks' move from across the pond. You know the drill. For better or worse (probably worse), we will never run out of stories like these.
Is it any good?
With its tangerine color scheme, splashy photo-album-style layout, and handy check marks conveniently appearing on already viewed items, the site is easy to navigate and quite inviting, even if for all the wrong reasons. It's not unlike leafing through an issue of US Weekly or watching one of the entertainment news shows on TV. Not surprising, since Access Hollywood is omg.yahoo.com's main content provider, and the source for its many original news stories and videos. Maybe because of this, or maybe because it's Yahoo!, the site is less gossipy and slanderous than other celebrity sites. Yes, the content is lacking in any real educational value or depth, and is undeniably superficial, but if your teenager loves celebrity gossip, this site is a better choice than many.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why we care so much about celebrities. Do some of them go out of their way to get snapped by the paparazzi? Is fame and recognition worth the invasion of privacy and the inability to even go to the grocery store without being mobbed in the parking lot by photographers?