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
There’s a lot of age-inappropriate content
We’re not even talking about violent videogames here (though you should be concerned about that). Did you know you can stream poker games on Twitch? It’s true. So if you don’t want your kids to be introduced to gambling, you might want to keep them off Twitch. And we haven’t even scratched the surface of the kind of inappropriate content on the platform.
It’s easy to bypass Twitch age restrictions
How old do you have to be to have Twitch? Technically, according to Twitch, you need to be 13 years old. But while the Twitch age restriction is set at 13, Twitch actually recommends that those between 13 and 18 use Twitch with adult supervision. However, if kids want to use Twitch without their parents knowing, they’ll find away. All you need is an email address to get started. And while you have to enter your birthday, there’s no mechanism in place for Twitch to verify that the information is real.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
- Find out which 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.