Snopes

Website review by
Dana Villamagna, Common Sense Media
Snopes Website Poster Image
Gruesome tales abound on this debunker of urban myths.

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 5 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Educational value

Teens can learn about truths and falsehoods behind common and outlandish urban legends, folklore, myths, and rumors. Just the idea behind the site conveys to teens the value of investigation and critical thinking. Did you know that flour and egg whites aren't an adequate treatment for burns? Myths about Coca-Cola, Internet scams, deadly animals, and more are put into question, and articles are linked to citations. More info about the investigative process would boost this myth-busting site.

Positive messages

On the upside, the site's effectiveness of separating the fact from fiction in online stories may be a useful tool for adults. But there's also a significant amount of gory, sexual, and generally not child appropriates stories (true and not), images, and information.

Violence

Stories listed under the Crime and Horror sections include graphic details about violence of all kinds, including stories of cannibilism and "murdering madmen."

Sex

Stories listed under certain categories including "Risque Business" and even "Disney" include topics like "penile pranks," "bestiality," and even photos of an image of a bare breasted woman hidden in the '70s version of Disney's movie The Rescuers.

Language
Consumerism

This is an ad-supported site, and there are a lot of Google AdSense ads, as well as banner ads for major corporations like AT&T.

Drinking, drugs & smoking

Some stories may include information about drugs, alcohol or tobacco. For example, one story verifies reports of teens dying due to "huffing."

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that while Snopes is the authority on debunking urban myths, its content is not appropriate for kids. In fact the site asserts that it's for adults: "Urban legends are expressions of adult fears and concerns and, as such, often convey those messages via stories that are unsuitable for children." But since children might be tempted to verify urban myths, too, we recommend supervision with this site.

User Reviews

Adult Written byprincesskitten June 28, 2009

Wonderful site, but maybe not for young kids.

I absolutely love this site. It is so interesting and educational, and best of all, all of its content is researched and verified so you know that what you... Continue reading
Adult Written byC4turdayz August 9, 2009
As a young adult myself, it wasn't that long ago when I was reading these stories as an adolescent, and while some may think the content is a little object... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old August 24, 2012

Great to Learn about the Real World

Snopes is out here to make sense of the rumors about the real world and television. Things like Cute Bunnies, Disney Messages, and Crazy Bull Attacks, it is gon... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written bymrbookworm01 May 11, 2012

Great site, but not for younger kids

I've visited this site MANY times and it's a great website. It does have some rumors on there that have some mature content, but nothing too bad for k... Continue reading

What's it about?

If you're wondering about the verity of the latest Internet scare or computer virus, Snopes has likely sorted the facts from the fiction. As one of the foremost sites on the Internet for checking out urban legends and other e-truths or lies, Snopes takes pride in uncovering the reality behind stories circulating around the news and Internet. The site uses a rating system to indicate truth, falsehood, part true, part false, or undetermined. Thousands of stories are categorized by general subject -- everything from \"freakish fatalities\" (odd ways to go) to \"drug horrors\" to \"gruesome finds of corpses and assorted body parts.\"

Is it any good?

Helpful as it is, Snopes is not a site that kids should be visiting unsupervised. While some of the stories have a ghost-story like quality, many are sexual, gory, crime-related, or very, very strange and may be upsetting for young kids and teens. If your kids want to verify a story, either preview Snopes first or read it with your child and discuss it.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why some Web sites that your teens might hear about often on the Web or in the media may still not be appropriate for them to browse unknowingly. A lot of the political and pop culture material on this site is informative, but wander off that mainstream path and you might find some images and stories that you wouldn't want to know about.

Website details

For kids who love research

Our editors recommend

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.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate