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 social networking sports site makes an effort to keep things clean and safe, especially for younger users. There's a strong language filter for all open text fields (it seems to get the job done) and photos and videos are moderated before they're posted. Teens 13 and up need to provide their full name and email address when registering, but only a first name is required for kids under 13. Without a parent's permission, kids can only use preselected comments and can't upload videos or photos. Parents can also open a family account that lets them monitor younger kids' usage or assign/remove permissions. Users are friendly, but for younger kids, there's the potential for hurt feelings, since other users can ignore their requests to be friends.
What's it about?
WEPLAY.COM is a space for athletes, fans, parents, and coaches to bond over baseball, basketball, and more. Teens can create a profile, upload photos and videos, blog, make friends, and join groups dedicated to specific sports or teams. Parents and coaches can use the site to schedule games and share stats. WePlay.com also features nine pro athletes, like Tony Parker and Brandi Chastain, who have their own profiles, blogs, videos, and photos.
Is it any good?
The site scores with its athlete profiles -- it's fun to see pics of Peyton Manning back in his Pop Warner days, or read what Derek Jeter has to say about being on the road, though some of the athletes could update their profiles more often. Real sports fans (and parents, of course) will appreciate the language filter and moderated content because they keep the site on topic -- there's no racy profile pics or inane "U R hot" conversations like on many other social sites.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Internet safety with social networking sites. Parents can remind kids not to use their real name as their username (which many of WePlay's users seem to do). What information should you include in your profile? What should you leave out? How do you know if you can trust someone enough to make them a "friend" so they have access to your private information? What can you do if you feel like someone is bullying you or wants to meet you in person? For more, check out our Top Ten Tips for Kids for Viral Media.
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