Based on 12 reviews
Based on 12 reviews
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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 kids will find numerous articles on wikiHow -- many of which they could feel are interesting. Some, though, involve topics that parents may not be thrilled about, such as how to get revenge or how to survive when you run away. Kids may also come across some gender and other representations that lean more toward stereotypes, and articles can include some mildly violent or sexual themes that aren't particularly kid-friendly. But kids may have to search to find them, because those items generally aren't prominently displayed on the homepage. The site's ads aren't too intense, but some are present, and certain articles mention name brands. Kids don't need to register to read articles, but a paid subscription is offered for $9.99 a month, or $6.25 a month with an annual commitment. Both feature a free seven-day trial and additional content such as courses and video interviews with industry experts.
wikiHow is Reliable: An Overview of its Quality Control
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Taught my school incorrect baking recipe.
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What’s It About?
WIKIHOW offers how-to guides that have been written and/or reviewed by subject matter experts and other site users. The articles are listed under categories such as arts and entertainment, cars and other vehicles, family life, and health. Users can also submit requests for guides on certain topics and edit items. Many contain a list of references, a summary, related article links, and responses to user questions. Some have videos or other elements. Articles with a green checkmark have been reviewed by experts such as a lawyer or doctor.
Is It Any Good?
Kids can find dozens of how-to guides on the site on a variety of topics. The team behind wikiHow says it has worked in recent years with content managers, more than 1,000 subject matter experts in various fields, and 30 nonprofit organizations -- ranging from doctors to organizations like the United Nations -- to ensure that the site provides accurate, trustworthy content based on well-established research. Some articles are marked with a green checkmark and the word "expert" to indicate they've been reviewed, and many contain a brief author bio at the end. The developer also says some "silly or inaccurate" content has been moved to other site domains, such as wikihow-fun.com., and the homepage has been reprioritized to include information on actionable ways parents, kids, and everyday users can learn how to navigate the web safely and spot misinformation.
There's definitely some more reliable content now on the site -- but kids can also still come across information that's a bit dicey. Some items touch on subject matter that isn't ideal for a young audience -- topics like "How to Get Drunk Fast," "How to Have Sex Appeal," and "How to Pass a Drug Test on Short Notice," for instance, probably aren't ideal for kids. A number of articles feature clearly written instructions and visuals, and users can post questions, if they have any, to obtain more information. Not every article has been reviewed, though, by an expert. In addition, although the information in many items comes from legitimate publications and organizations, some still refer to more questionable sources. One of the citations in an article about how to get dimples naturally, for example -- which includes somewhat dubious tips such as pressing an indentation into your cheek with a pencil -- references a post an unnamed user made on a message board-type website. Parents may want to have a conversation with kids before they use the site, to explain how to gauge which items are more factual than others -- and then surf wikiHow together to ensure kids don't stumble onto any material that's strictly meant for a mature audience.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about wikiHow using experts to review articles -- and why sites that rely solely on user-contributed content may, by nature, not always be completely reliable sources of information. How can kids know when information is trustworthy and when it isn't? Where can they check their research? (See our tips for using Wikipedia.)
What's a polite way to express a differing thought? If you don't agree, how can you express your opinion in a respectful way?
How can kids respect free speech while using common sense?
- Subjects: Language & Reading: discussion, following directions, reading, writing
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: applying information, asking questions, investigation, Self-Direction: personal growth
- Genre: Creating
- Topics: STEM
- Pricing structure: Free
- Last updated: October 5, 2021
Our Editors Recommend
Collaborative reference: Research with caution.
Excellent tool for kids with nuts-and-bolts questions.
DIY site encourages kids to tinker, create, invent, think.
For kids who love research
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