Is Twitch Safe?The most common question among parents when it comes to Twitch is simple –– is it safe for kids? According to the platform’s terms of service, nobody under the age of 13 is allowed to have an account, and all children can only use Twitch under the supervision of a parent or legal guardian. A wide variety of games are broadcasted from around the globe on Twitch, from Call of Duty to Super Mario. You can watch people stream for free, or subscribe to your favorite channels for a small fee. Some things parents should consider include:
- Live streaming: Content is streamed live on Twitch. This means that while what a streamer says or does can be unpredictable. You can’t control what your child may hear or see at any given moment.
- Mature content: Ads for games with mature content run on the platform, and sexual themes can be found on the site. For example, some livestreamers ignore community guidelines and wear sexually suggestive clothing. Your child will also likely be exposed to swear words, offensive humor and “internet trolls” on Twitch.
- Video game violence: Many of the games streamed on Twitch include graphic violence.
- Private messaging and chat rooms: Your child can communicate with others in chat rooms or through private messaging (called Whispers on Twitch). This can open the door to a variety of risks, including hate speech, offensive language, cyberbullying, online predators and more.
While there are risks involved with using Twitch, there are also many kid-friendly channels your child can enjoy.
Privacy and SecurityThere aren’t any parental controls on Twitch, but there are things you can do to help ensure that your child is streaming safely:
- Familiarize yourself with the streamers that your child regularly watches. Take some time to check in and observe streamers and chat rooms that your kid frequently visits.
- Go into your child’s settings and disable invites, messages and Whispers from strangers.
- If your child streams his or her own videos, you can change the settings to make streaming safer. You can increase the moderation of content from other members with AutoMod, and block certain words and phrases from being posted in the chat. You can also block external links, so you don’t have to worry about your child being led to unsafe websites.