What is Slashdot?
Slashdot (often abbreviated as /.) is a website owned by Geeknet, inc. which posts news articles related to technology and science. These articles tend to appeal to "nerds" and often feature topics such as Linux, Microsoft, open source software, and legal or business developments. The website was original created by Rob "CmdrTaco" Malda. While he no longer owns the site, he is still a prominent administrator, moderator and contributor for the website, along with a small handful of other such editors. The name of the website was intended to confuse people who were reading the full website URL out loud.
Each featured article is posted by a Slashdot editor along with a short description, which can often be humorous. Each article is given a set of tags which allow users to find stories they are interested in. Most articles are summaries linking to external sources submitted by Slashdot readers. Following each article is a comments thread, which, besides the interesting links, tends to be the main draw of Slashdot.
Unlike many forums, comments posted to Slashdot cannot be edited and are rarely removed for technical reasons (never for content reasons). However, there is an extensive moderator system. Logged in users can earn moderator points, which they can then use up by applying tags such as "insightful", "humorous", or "[flamebait]". Moderators are not allowed to post on threads that they moderate. In addition, so-called "meta-moderators" rate moderators ratings as fair or unfair in an effort to ensure that the system is not manipulated. This system allows users to see which comments are generally good, and which ones are bad. The site has mechanisms to perform this filtering automatically.
Concerns for Parents
While the articles posted on Slashdot safe and even educational, the comments thread for each article are open to the public. Moderation helps discourage inappropriate comments, but even so, not all the comments posted are free of inappropriate material. Also, Slashdot does not control or moderate the content of other sites that articles link to. Parents should be aware of what content their children are reading. In addition, if your child is posting content online, it will stay there forever. If your child is posting overly personal information, this could be exploited.