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Live streaming online is one of the most commonly used media outlets today. People stream video games, podcasts, talk shows, and more. One of the most popular streaming platforms used today, mostly for gaming, is Twitch. Those using the platform don’t have to just stream their own gameplay, but can watch other people as well. However, not all streams on Twitch are appropriate for kids and teens to watch. To protect your child while using Twitch, learn more about the platform and the parental controls they offer.
What Is Twitch?
Twitch is a popular live video and streaming platform used by users of all ages. The company was bought by Amazon in 2014, and has since boomed thanks to popular streamers such as TimTheTatMan, DrLupo, and Tfue. If you are not interested in being a Twitch streamer, you can watch others’ streams, chat with users, and subscribe to popular channels.
However, some of the content isn’t family-friendly. According to Twitch’s Terms of Service, users must be older than 13-years-old, and those that are under that age and are considered a minor must use the platform with parental/guardian supervision. Even though this is the case, it’s very easy for kids younger than 13 to use Twitch with/without their parents knowing.
First, if your child is under 13 and is using the platform, delete their account immediately! If they are older than 13 and are using Twitch, consider using the following parental controls.
Twitch Parental Controls To Use
Technically speaking, Twitch doesn’t have any parental controls. However, there are settings available in regards to messages, chats, and posted content that can be customized by parents overseeing their child’s account.
Block Messages, Whispers, and Invites From Strangers
On Twitch, users are able to easily block messages, whispers, and invitations from strangers on the platform. In case you don’t know, a whisper is when another user mentions and tags your username in a chat. To prevent strangers from doing any of the above, go to Settings → Security & Privacy → Check off Block Messages from Strangers and Block Whispers from Strangers.
There are multiple settings on Twitch to customize one’s chat. On Chat settings, users can choose to Enable filtering in chat. Within this, users can also filter out discrimination, profanity, hostility, and sexually explicit language.
Users who post videos can also choose to delete links posted in their live chats as they wish. This setting can be found in the Channel Settings section.
AutoMod For Videos Posted
If your child regularly posts content, AutoMod is a highly useful feature to prevent inappropriate content from appearing on their videos and in chats. Using it, users can set the level of moderation and filtering they want for their videos posted. Items filtered include identity language, sexually explicit language, aggressive language, and profanity. To customize AutoMod settings, go to Settings → Channel & Videos → AutoMode Rulesets.
Is Twitch Safe For Kids?
Yes and no. If used wisely and having set up the appropriate parental controls, Twitch can be safe for kids above the age of 13 to use. However, even with parental controls, there are always dangers including scammers, strangers, sexual predators, and stumbling upon inappropriate content. To be safe, only have your child subscribe to and watch content from child-friendly channels. Some examples include users iateyourpie and TheNo1Alex. You can also search the term “family friendly” on Twitch to find channels as well.