What is Wattpad?
Wattpad is a relatively unmoderated online storytelling community.
- A relatively unmoderated online storytelling community
- Users write and share their stories on Wattpad
- Users like and comment on other users’ stories
- While writers are encouraged to rate their stories, many stories are unrated
Wattpad stories fall into 2 rating categories:
- Mature – Content intended for readers 17+
- For Everyone – Content that is appropriate for all ages
- There 45 million Wattpad users
- 30 minutes is the average amount spent on Wattpad per session
- 80% of users are under the age of 30
Wattpad in the news:
There’s a danger of exploitation when the writers are so young and Wattpad is acting as their agent. –The Washington Post
- “There’s a danger of exploitation when the writers are so young and Wattpad is acting as their agent.” –The Washington Post
- “Nearly a third of the writings are unrated, and some decidedly explicit stuff shows up [on Wattpad].” –Common Sense Media
What do parents say?
Teens can easily find inappropriate content [on Wattpad] plus they can message each other including likely predators.
- “Loads of inappropriate content – Teens can easily find inappropriate content plus they can message each other including likely predators.” -Mom of Teen
- “I discovered my 14-year-old daughter was writing stories on this app that were sexually explicit, totally inappropriate, and publicly shared. The app connected to her Facebook profile, which, while totally locked down, still shows her profile picture, which at times is a photograph of her.” -Mom of Teen
Why should parents care?
Wattpad can be a predatory site since readers have access to writers’ personal Facebook profiles and email addresses.
- The majority of Wattpad’s content is mature
- Teens are posting explicit and inappropriate stories that are connected to their personal Facebook profiles (and shows their profile photo)
- Users can embed inappropriate images and videos into their stories
- Wattpad can be a predatory site since readers have access to writers’ personal Facebook profiles and email addresses
- The app also has private messaging capabilities
What can parents do?
Consider alternative ways your teen can share their creative writing publicly.
- Consider alternative ways your teen can share their creative writing publicly
- Discuss the types of content that are appropriate for your teen to encounter online and teach them to avoid inappropriate content in your absence
If your teen is interested in creative writing or reading:
- Encourage your student to start journaling in a notebook
- Plan a trip to the bookstore, together, so your teen can pick out books you’ve approved