A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this website.
Kids can learn about real and fake news, including how false reports originate and spread. Rumors from sites and social media are debunked or confirmed. The content encourages kids to investigate, think critically, and use logic. Some items deal with politics, and background information is given on topics. Tips to prevent journalists from spreading disinformation are also offered. The fact checking can be very detailed, and may include news coverage generalizations the site has observed, which aren't necessarily as reputable as other sources. Still, numerous items contain worthwhile information about identifying illegitimate news.
Kids are encouraged to respect and seek the truth.
Violence & Scariness
Analyses mention things like suicide and crowd violence, and occasionally an item depicts an image some readers may find disturbing -- one includes photos of a deceased person strapped to a gurney, for example. But generally, the content's nothing more explicit than kids would see on the news.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some items touch on infidelity, sex trafficking, and other topics, but don't tend to go into detail about anything too racy.
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Some, but not all items contain swears. "F--k" and "s--t" are frequently included in articles.
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Products & Purchases
Kids will see ads, but the site says it has no direct contact with advertisers and won't accept political advertising or funding.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Numerous items involve drug smuggling, alcohol, and related topics, but they don't glorify substance use or abuse.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that TruthOrFiction.com is a news site dedicated to telling the difference between real and fake news on websites. Some of the items on TruthOrFiction.com contain swearing, including "f--k" and "s--t," and the content can deal with adult topics like violent acts, sex trafficking, and the illegal drug trade, but the site takes a fact-based, non-salacious approach to the subjects. Kids will see some banner ads as they click through the site, but TruthOrFiction.com says it works to remain editorially independent, and both its advertising and overall coverage are non-partisan.
Is It Any Good?
This Snopes-like site analyzes news items to determine if they're accurate or not -- or somewhere in-between, but could use a bit more clarification itself to help its readers. Typically, TruthOrFiction.com tries to demystify outrageous claims and propaganda-based news items that have been circulated on social media, as an email forward, on questionable websites, or through other venues. Although the length and depth of the analyses can vary, generally, they offer at least some valid insight into why a statement is correct or not.
The site navigation seems to be a bit redundant -- political items and fake news items are listed in a drop-down menu under the Fact Checks heading on each page, for instance, and also as separate headings at the top of the page. Given the site's logo proclaims it has been seeking truth and exposing fiction since 1999, you'd expect more content to be in some sections. But numerous items appear repeatedly in more than one, and some sections don't contain many posts, such as the Identifying Fake News section, which lists just three items. There are actually more than 400 pages of posts to read, but the way the sections are listed can initially make it look like less. Items addressing entertainment topics and how journalists can prevent fake news seem out of place on the site as a result. In addition, the ratings in posts don't link to a description of what each one means. If kids see an item is marked with a mixed rating, they'll have to go to the site's About section and click through to a separate ratings page for any information, and the descriptions on that page seem to be outdated. They list terms like Reported to be Truth! and Unproven!, instead of the true, mixed, and other ratings used in items on the site -- which can potentially cause even more confusion. But if you can look past the site confusion and odd navigation issues, you'll find a site trying to provide crucial info to users eager to tell the difference between fact and fiction.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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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