Review of the website www.freerice.com

 
Published: Saturday 15 December 2007

http:,,www.freerice.com

This website has a bizarre idea of charity--get the meaning of a word right in its test and 10 grains of rice will be donated to the poor. FreeRice has two goals, improving English skills and making hunger history--figure out the connection when you've stopped being appalled by its brazen insensitivity. It is sister to a world poverty site--www.poverty.com-- which counts global poverty deaths hourly and hosts information on hunger and poverty.

FreeRice has tips on how building English vocabulary helps score higher on tests like SAT, GRE and GMAT and "be more effective and successful at your job" among other things; and information on sponsors of free rice. It also features a question with a dodgy answer. If FreeRice has the rice, why not give it away right now? The answer: It's not sitting on a pile of rice. You're earning it 10 grains a shot.

When you reach the 50th level, the maximum you would have donated would be around 1,400 grains of rice. As you keep playing , the tally goes up. The website is, however, conspicuously vague on who will count the grains and how it will be distributed.

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