Social networks, apps and games
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Twitch

Twitch is a live streaming site popular with gamers that lets you share live gameplay for others to watch and comment on in real time. You can also watch playbacks of games being played and chat to other gamers. You can’t join a live game on Twitch but you can speak to other users who are watching the game in real-time.

13+

Official age rating

Kids use this to...

Play

Create

Learn

Connect

Our safety ratings

Overall safety rating:

Our overall rating for Twitch

Poor

Twitch doesn’t offer any parental control features for parents and your child could easily talk to someone they don’t know on the platform.

Even though Twitch uses moderators to try and stop inappropriate content from being shared on the app. It won’t stop all inappropriate content from showing. This means your child could see something they find upsetting or that you don’t want them to see.

When you open Twitch it automatically plays videos featured on the homepage and there’s no way for you to restrict what your child can see. 

Safety features

You can restrict who sends your child private messages, known as ‘whispers’, on the app but you can’t switch off the chat function completely. You also can’t stop your child from talking to people they don’t know on public forums.

There’s no specific information on the Twitch app or website to give parents or carers advice on how to keep their child safe using the app.

Privacy & location

You can restrict who can send private messages to your child but you can’t stop them from talking to other users on public chat forums.

There are no location settings but parents and carers should remind their child not to tell others online where they are.

Reporting & blocking

To help make the platform a safer space, Twitch has Community Guidelines that outline how users must behave.

You can report or block another user directly in the app by selecting the three dots in the right hand corner.

Content

Twitch is moderated and has a list of globally banned words and phrases that it automatically deletes before other users can see them.

It also has a function called Automod that can be activated on forums by the chat admin to stop upsetting messages, sexually explicit content and hate speech from appearing on the feed.

Because you have to rely on the broadcaster or the chat admin to switch on Automod your child might still come across something they find worrying or upsetting.

Many of the games we saw on the app were rated 18 + so your child could easily play or watch a game that isn’t suitable for them.

Twitch uses pop ups to warn users when a game contains mature content that might not be suitable for a younger audience. However, it doesn’t give any detail about what the mature content is and kids could easily click through this and continue watching the video.



O2 Guru top tip

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On Twitch

In the privacy section under settings, show your child how they can block Whispers (private messages) from people they don't know.

Top tips for staying safe

Sitting down with your child and exploring their favourite app or game is a great way for you to learn more about what they like to do online.

You can ask them why they like to use an app or play certain games, as well as who they’re talking to and what sorts of things they’re sharing.

You can also read our Net Aware reviews for tips on how to keep kids safe on popular apps, sites and games.

Most social media sites and apps have chat features where you talk to people you do and don’t know.

Make sure you check in with your child regularly about who they’re talking to on their favourite app or social media site. Remind them if someone starts asking them personal questions or suggests they speak using another app like Snapchat or Instagram they should come and tell you.

Explore safety settings together so your child knows how to stop unwanted contact or end an online chat.

Similar to YouTube, Twitch has channels that users can follow to stay up to date with the latest video uploads and live streams.

Make sure to check out the channels your child follows on the platform to see whether the videos they’re watching are appropriate for them.

Let them know they can always come to you, another trusted adult or speak to a Childline counsellor if they come across anything that upsets them.

Help your child think about what they share online and who sees it. Compare it to what they would be happy to share offline.

Use examples that are easy for them to understand: “You shouldn't give your number to somebody you don't know on the street. Is somebody online you don't know any different?”

Listen to their answers. And be positive and encouraging.

Remind them that they shouldn’t share private things, such as:

  • personal information, like names, emails, phone numbers, location and school names
  • other people's personal information
  • links to join private group chats
  • photos of themselves
  • photos of their body, such as sexual photos or videos.

Abuse and harassment are against Twitch's community guidelines but if it your child comes across any it's useful to them how to report it. You can follow Twitch's guidance on how to file a user report.

Twitch also has a feature that lets you block Whispers (private messages) from other users. You might want to use this if your child is receiving inappropriate messages.

Explore these features with your child and let them know that they can always talk to you about worrying things they come across online.

Explain that you understand the internet is a great place to play, create, learn and connect. But remind them they can talk to you if anything upsets or worries them.

Reassure them that you won’t overreact – you’re just looking out for them.

It’s important to remind your child that they can talk you, another adult they trust, like a teacher, or Childline about anything they see online.

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Talking to your child

Having open, regular conversations with your child will help you to really understand and explore the online world together. Our tips and advice can help you start these conversations.

Talk about staying safe online

What children and parents are saying about Twitch

We've spoken to over 2,000 parents and kids to find out what they think.

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Kids

What do children and young people dislike about Twitch?

  • There are lots of adverts
  • People say rude things in their videos
  • It's hard to censor because it's live

5% of the children and young people who reviewed Twitch thought it was unsafe.

It is quite vulgar as once it's said, it's gone and nobody can watch it again. This makes the streamer quite reckless about what they say which can lead to some upsetting things being said.

Boy, 13

What do children and young people like about Twitch?

  • You can learn how to play your favourite games
  • It's entertaining
  • You can watch your favourite YouTubers

The site can be both very safe and enjoyable, and also risky and vulgar depending on what content is selected. It's great at separating these two sides of the site and allows users to select what content they want to access. The content is almost always live, meaning there is little/no censorship.

18 year old

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Parents

We asked parents about the following areas of Twitch:

Signing up

It was very easy to register. I was asked for my date of birth but there was no verification.

Mum of 9 and 12 year olds

I feel it is incredibly easy for any child to pose as older to create an account.

Dad of an 8 year old girl

Reporting

Overall, parents found it easy to report unsuitable content or behaviour and block people from getting in contact.

Reporting was easy, once you found the link to do this. There was no obvious 'report this content' button.

Father of 12 and 18 year olds

Reporting should be much easier - blocking was fine.

Dad of a 14 year old boy

Privacy settings

It is very difficult to navigate and needs to be much easier to find.

Mum of 9 and 12 year olds

Safety and support

For kids, stuff like this shouldn't be in menus; it should be much more upfront.

Father of 5 and 9 year olds

It is something you have to search for - rather than it being prevalent on the site.

Mother of 17 year old girl

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