Is “We Heart It” Safe for Teens?

We-heart-it-logoWe were surprised to read last week that emerging social network We Heart It had passed 30 million users. If you’re not a teenage girl, you probably haven’t heard of it, but that might change soon.

We Heart It is an image sharing social network that caters so specifically to the teen girl demographic that it is almost obvious that it’s seeing success – it’s like Pinterest for the daughters of Pinterest users.

The site is not as family-friendly as we would like to see. There is an option in the settings to allow users to view mature content, and some nudity is permitted (we’re not sure where they draw the line). The site’s Terms of Service do state that most content that is not safe for kids is prohibited, including harassment, threats, anything depicting sexual acts, discriminatory in nature or promoting self-harm. While browsing the site today, we did notice some posts that included profanity, but we-heart-it-abuseWe Heart It states clearly that they will remove inappropriate content, and the “report abuse” function is easy to find and appears on every post.

The site’s stated age limit is 13, but like most social media sites, they do little to enforce it. For example, I signed up for a new account using Twitter, and they didn’t ask for my age at all.

We Heart It promises to delete any personal information from users under 13 if they learn that a user is under age, so we are hopeful that a parent reporting a child’s account would get the result they are looking for.

On the topic of cyberbullying, We Heart It gets high marks for keeping it safe. Since the site doesn’t allow text comments – users can either “heart” another user’s content or repost it – there is no opportunity to trash other users.

Because of the nudity, we’d recommend parents not let younger users join We Heart It. For older teens, it is a pretty good option for kids looking for a social network focused on their peers’ interests and not their parents’.

 

Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring child and teen internet activity.

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