Pop quiz: Where can you find the best video content? If you answered YouTube, then we’re guessing you’re a parent. But the truth is when it comes to the best content that kids want to see, it’s all on Twitch.
We’re going to let you in on a little secret. Despite what your children might tell you, Twitch for kids isn’t a thing. In fact, there’s a lot to be concerned about on the streaming platform. But don’t sweat it. We’re here to sort it all out.
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What Is Twitch?
Twitch is kind of like YouTube but originally designed for gamers and for those who want to live-stream what they’re doing. In a nutshell, users with Twitch accounts can live stream their video game sessions on popular games like Fortnite and League of Legends.
But while Twitch has its roots in video games, there are a number of non-gaming channels that you can watch, including content that could be inappropriate for kids.
Why You Should Worry About Twitch
1. There’s a lot of age-inappropriate content
You should be aware that Twitch has a wide variety of content that may not be appropriate for kids. This goes beyond violent video games, as Twitch also offers streams of poker games, which may introduce children to gambling at an early age.
To ensure that your children are not exposed to inappropriate content, it’s recommended to keep them off Twitch altogether.
2. It’s easy to bypass Twitch age restrictions
Twitch says you need to be 13 to use their platform. But if you’re between 13 and 18, Twitch suggests using it under the parent’s supervision. However, some kids might still try to use Twitch secretly.
They can sign up using just an email and enter a fake birthdate. Twitch doesn’t check if the information is true. It’s your task, as a parent, to talk with your child about the risks of using Twitch unsupervised. You can also set rules for how they can use it safely.
3. Cyberbullying exists on Twitch
Twitch does have a policy in place to prohibit threatening language and explicit content. But it really only applies to those who are creating the content.
Unfortunately, Twitch has a live chat function embedded into the platform. And while they frown upon inappropriate language, it can be extremely hard to police. You never know if your kids will come face to face with cyberbullies, stalkers, or other creeps on Twitch.
4. Twitch can be a gateway to other platforms
Those who stream on Twitch also tend to use a number of other video and social platforms, like Instagram, Discord, Snapchat, and YouTube. And they’re not shy about it.
Streamers often tell their Twitch followers about the other platforms they’re on to drive traffic and engagement. So, while the Twitch content they’re watching might be perfectly innocent, your kids could discover a streamer’s other inappropriate platforms.
5. There’s no built-in parental control within Twitch
If your kids have a Twitch account, there’s no mechanism within the platform for parents to block specific streams. Once logged in, you can filter out content with explicit language and try to block content that might be discriminatory, but the settings aren’t all that great.
Can I Stream With My Child on Twitch?
If you want to steam on Twitch with your child, you need to take into consideration several things. The most important is the age restriction, according to Twitch’s policy, this steaming service is designed for people aged 13 and up.
Since you already know that Twitch is associated with dangers, it’s only up to you to allow your kid to use the app when they turn 13. If you do, you can offer to stream on Twitch together. This will help you to see if they’re exposed to dangerous content.
Before you start, make sure you establish clear guidelines and boundaries regarding the content that you and your child will stream. First, choose games and channels that are appropriate for your child’s age and interests.
Twitch provides content filters that you can customize to control the conversation in chats and ensure that it’s safe and respectful. And don’t forget to educate your kid about the dangers of sharing personal information and disabling location services.
How to Protect Kids on Twitch
You can stop asking yourself, “Is Twitch safe for my child?”. The answer is clearly no. But if you’re worried about what your kids are watching on Twitch and who they’re engaging with, an app like Eyezy can help. Here’s how:
- Find out which Twitch streams they watch through the web
With Eyezy Twitch parental controls in your hands, you can take a look at which streams they’ve viewed on their smartphone if they’re watching through their web browser. That’s because Eyezy lets you see the sites they’ve visited through your Control Panel.
- Lock the Twitch app on their phone
Is the Twitch app safe to download? In terms of it being safe for your phone, absolutely. But if you’re asking is Twitch safe for kids, the answer is no. But there’s good news. With Eyezy, you can block them from installing and using the Twitch app.
- Check what streams and channels they’re chatting about
Eyezy includes a tool called Social Spotlight. It lets you see their social media chats. That includes everything they’ve typed and any pics or videos they’ve sent. So if they’re chatting about a certain Twitch channel or stream, you can find out.
A Twitch Parental Control App is Only One Part of the Solution
You’ve probably read enough Twitch reviews for parents to know that Twitch can be dangerous for kids. And now that you know there’s an app to help you find out if they’re watching Twitch, things are probably looking a little brighter. But as a parent, you shouldn’t just rely on technology to keep them safe.
It’s important to pair Twitch parental controls like the ones found in Eyezy with meaningful discussion. Talk to your kids about Twitch. Let them know about the dangers. And let’s keep everyone as safe as can be.