Social networks, apps and games
app-icons-Twitter

Twitter

Twitter is a social media site and app that lets you post messages called tweets. These can be up to 280 characters long. As well as tweets, you can send private messages and post pictures and videos. You can also livestream on Twitter.

13+

Official age rating

15+

Parent age rating

What do parents say?
13+

Child age rating

What do children say?

At a glance

Kids use this to...

Play

Create

Learn

Connect

Expert view of the risks...

Sexual

High Risk

Violence & hatred

High Risk

Bullying

High Risk

Suicide & self-harm

High Risk

Drink, drugs & crime

High Risk

O2 Guru top tip

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On Twitter for kids

To keep your kids safe, talk to them about turning their account to private so only their followers will be able to see their tweets.

Top tips for staying safe

Exploring apps, sites and games together is a great way to involve your child in the decision-making process.

Be positive about what you see, but also be open about your concerns. Ask them what they think is appropriate and what worries them.

If you decide it’s not appropriate, then make sure you explain your reasons why (and be prepared for an unhappy child).

You might decide it’s ok for your child to use. If so, make sure you follow the tips below to ensure it’s as safe as possible. And work out a time when you’ll next discuss the app.

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

You might want to start by asking:

  • What kinds of things do you share online?
  • Should we share everything?
  • What shouldn’t we share?

Use examples that are easy for them to understand: “You wouldn’t give your number to a stranger on the street. Is a stranger online 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 emails, names, phone numbers, school names
  • photos of themselves with strangers
  • photos of their body
  • gossip

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.

And if they feel like they can’t speak to you, tell them to talk to an adult they trust, like a teacher or Childline.

It's important to check the privacy settings on your child's Twitter account to make sure what they're posting is shared only with friends.

Twitter has guidance on how to protect your personal information, including how to keep your tweets private.

Explore these features with your child and agree together what's best for your child to use.

Your child might see or receive upsetting or negative things from other users on Twitter. If this happens, they might want to report content or block other users.

Twitter has guidance on reporting abusive behaviour and advice on how to block another user.

Explore these with your child so you're both confident in how to use the features and use it as an opportunity to discuss what's appropriate behaviour and what's not.

And remember to let your child know that they can always talk to you about worrying things 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 Twitter

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 Twitter?

  • Seeing inappropriate content
  • It can be used for bullying people
  • It's hard to know what's true

It is very difficult to control the information that circulates throughout Twitter, as anyone can share tweets, images and videos of another person, whose content could be deemed offensive.

18 year old

What do children and young people like about Twitter?

  • People write funny tweets
  • Being able to express yourself
  • Following celebrities and finding out what's going on in the world

I like that I can see what's happening at certain places and what people think about certain things. Without the right settings you can be contacted by anyone but it is simple to set privacy settings.

Boy, 13 

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Parents

We asked parents about the following areas of Twitter:

Signing up

Apart from choosing a user name, it was very easy to sign up. With a valid email address, you can sign up as anybody. Absolutely no measures in place to verify ID or age.

Dad of a 13 year old girl

I'm quite happy with the registration system.  It was easy to understand and follow and gave full information. 

Mum of a 10 year old girl

 

Reporting

Overall, parents found it easy to find ways to report unsuitable content and behaviour, and to block people.

I found it as easy to block people and report content on Tumblr as I have with other applications such as Facebook.

Dad of 11 and 17 year olds

You can report a particular post as inappropriate but it is not clear how to block a post or user.

Dad of a 13 year old girl

Privacy settings

Overall, parents found it easy to change location settings and ensure that their profile and account was set to private

Privacy settings are very basic with only two options: are you public or private and can people contact you with email or not.

Dad of a 13 year old girl

 

Safety and support

All of the advice and information is readily available through the help centre. Anyone can use this easily. Dad of a 17 year old

It would be useful for 13-18 year olds, and adults with a low reading age, to have safety information available in easy language.

Mum of a 13 year old girl

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