Snopes

Common Sense Media says

Gruesome tales abound on this debunker of urban myths.

Age(i)

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Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

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
Not applicable
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."

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that while this site 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.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • storytelling

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • investigation
  • thinking critically

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

This site is the authority on debunking urban myths, which fascinate teens. Compelling categories range from "drug horrors" to "gruesome finds of corpses and assorted body parts." Freaky cool!

Learning Approach

Scouring the site is fun -- especially for teens who are naturally curious. Criteria for which myths and legends are addressed are briefly laid out. Still, there are many that seem not widely known.

Support

Added information about how the site's myths are investigated and a more friendly user experience would make Snopes more useful.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • storytelling

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • investigation
  • thinking critically

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.

This Learning Rating review was written by Jinny Ree

Parents say

Kids say

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?

QUALITY
 

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.

Families can talk 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

Genre:Educational
Pricing structure:Free

This review of Snopes was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

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What parents and kids say

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A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Parent of a 2 year old Written byLINDSEY76 April 18, 2009
AGE
17
QUALITY
 

missed launguige

i tiped in th word f-k and their was an erban legend called what the f-k
Kid, 11 years old August 24, 2012
AGE
11
QUALITY
 
LEARNING

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 gonna tell you what really happened. Either Adult or Childish, it will always be there.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 14 years old Written bymrbookworm01 May 11, 2012
AGE
12
QUALITY
 

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 kids 12+. Also, it has a positive message about sticking to the facts when it comes to rumors and legends. Learning potential: Kids will learn a little about how rumors get started and how to find out if their true or not, but the site's mostly for entertainment. Violence: Some rumors about violent/scary topics (Ex. One rumor says that two girls who were murdered skin and hang their parents for not telling their son (who was born after the girls' deaths) about them). One section in the "fauxography" portion of the site is labeled "Gallery Of Gruesome" which showcases pictures of horrific injuries. There's even a warning that states that some pictures might disturb sensitive viewers. But most articles on the site aren't too horrific. Sex: Some rumors are about sexual topics. One article about the rumor that a scene in the movie "The Rescuers" showing a brief picture of a naked woman shows the scene without censoring the nudity. But there's nothing very graphic that I've seen. Language: Some profanity, but not a lot. Consumerism: Mentioning of movies, actors, singers, authors, books, and other people, places, and things. Drinking: Some articles deal with rumors about incidents involving drinking or drug use, like a rumor about a babysitter who, high of LSD, cooks a baby thinking it was a turkey.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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