Keep your child safe on Twitch
What is it?
Twitch is a website where users can watch videos and live streams of other users (known as ‘broadcasters’), typically playing computer games. They can also live stream themselves.
The minimum age to use it is 13, but it’s easy to sign up if you’re younger.
What’s the problem?
- Live streaming makes it harder to censor what people share or what language they use, so your child could be exposed to bullying content, or content that’s inappropriate for their age
- The chat function means strangers could talk to your child. Twitch is one of the main platforms used to ‘groom’ children (where an adult builds a relationship with a child to manipulate, exploit and abuse them)
5 steps to help keep your child safe on Twitch
1. Find out what your child is watching
Try watching together at first, or find out what channels they’re watching and research them yourself. This will help you see whether what they’re watching is age appropriate.
2. Encourage your child to only talk to people they know
Anyone could pretend to be a child or teenager online, so encourage your child not to talk privately to people they don’t know in real life.
If they do talk to people they don’t know, for example in group chats, tell them not to give out information that could identify them, such as their school name or the name of the street you live on.
3. Restrict content in chat
This will make it less likely that your child will see inappropriate content, though no filter is perfect.
In browser, start watching a channel, then click the cog icon in the bottom left > under ‘My preferences’ click ‘Chat filters’ > tick ‘Enable filtering in chat’ > tick the filters you want to enable.
On the app, start watching a stream, then tap the video > tap the cog icon at the top right of the video > under ‘Chat options’ tap ‘Enable filtering in chat’ > tick ‘Enable filtering in chat’ > tick the filters you want to enable.
These settings will apply to other channels too.
4. Block private messages from strangers
Your child can block private messages (known as ‘whispers’) from strangers. To do this, go to the ‘Privacy’ section of the ‘Security and privacy’ page, and tick to block messages from strangers.
5. Make sure your child knows how to report and block people
Twitch’s community guidelines ban behaviour like threats of violence, hateful conduct and harassment, spam, and sexual content. Knowing how to report or block people breaking these rules will help your child and others stay safe.
Report content from a broadcaster
In the bottom right on the website, below the video player, click the 3-dot icon > click ‘Report’ > fill in the report form with a description of the issue.
On mobile, the 3-dot icon is next to the ‘Whisper’ and ‘Friend’ buttons on iOS and in the top right corner on Android. Choose ‘Report’ > select the report reason > type a description in the description field > tap ‘Send’.
Report and block users from chat
Click on a user’s name in a chat > click the 3 dot icon > ‘Report’ (or ‘Block’) > fill in the report form.
On mobile, tap on the username > select ‘Report’ (or ‘Block’) from the menu > select why you’re reporting them > type in a report reason > tap ‘Send’.
Report and block users from whispers
Click the cog button in the top right of the whisper window, and then select the most appropriate option from ‘Block user’ or ‘Report user’.
On mobile, tap the cog wheel next to the username you want to report or block from inside the whisper screen > select ‘Report’ or ‘Block’.
If you’re reporting, you can then choose the appropriate reason.
What else can I do?
- Encourage your child to talk to you if someone says something upsetting or hurtful to them, or if they see something they find upsetting
- Look for signs they may be being bullied, like being afraid or reluctant to go to school, feeling nervous, losing confidence or becoming distressed and withdrawn, or losing sleep
- Tell our school about any bullying your child experiences
200,000 young people may have been groomed on social networks, NSPCC