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 free informational site offers up answers to virtually any question imaginable but is an iffy place for young kids to explore without supervision. The self-proclaimed “world’s biggest think tank” lets visitors ask questions and registered users volunteer their advice and answers. Though the questions and answers are divided into easy-to-peruse categories, there is an array of topics that are accessible to anyone choosing to browse.
- Parents say
- Kids say
Is it any good?
Yahoo! Answers certainly doesn’t have all the answers, but it’s a decent place to start if you’re an adult looking for practical information such as how to wash jeans without shrinking them … or tricks to making meringue. Ask virtually anything, and there’s an answer for it. But those few who choose to ask or answer dubious questions about sex, drugs, or violent behaviors turn this site into a not-so-safe place for kids. Just like the worldwide Web itself, there’s some useful information to discover, but there’s also a lot of questionable fare to wade through.
Online interaction: Sometimes the answers are misguided, angry diatribes posted by people who just want to stir up trouble. Certain categories have more of this type of commentary than others.
Talk to your kids about ...
How the Internet has made it possible to seek out answers to virtually any question -- and receive answers almost instantly. Does this feed our desire for instant gratification? How did people find out answers before there was a computer in nearly every home?
Why do some people spend a good deal of time loading inappropriate answers and information into Web sites? Is this a form of bullying?
Why you shouldn’t always believe, trust or follow information or advice that is found on Web sites. When it comes to important issues in life, who are better people to turn to? What can these trusted people do to help make sure the Internet is a safer place for kids?