Twitch, for those of you that don’t know, is an online streaming software that seemingly came out of nowhere that focuses on video game content from streamers around the world. Anyone can watch or live stream themselves and with an unfiltered, real-world environment – for us as parents – our spidey-sense is all over the shop.

It’s not all bad and with the site picking up at a rapid pace, streamers such as Ninja are gaining more and more traction in creating entertaining content. Even Drake popped in to play with the streaming celebrity and with 9.7 million active users every single day visiting the site to watch – it’s no surprise.

 

Why are people so fixated on Twitch

 

The main idea of Twitch is that streamers can play games online and broadcast this to an audience, via the streaming site. People visiting the site can then view these streams and interact with the streamers via a chat box and by tipping the player. This sparks conversation in the smaller streams between viewers as well as the streamer – so it’s a social focus – chat with people who have the same interests as you online.

 

There’s also a huge entertainment benefit to watching others play the games that you love or that you’re interested in buying. Think of it as watching football. You like playing football, but you like to watch it and listen to the commentators too – add in an option to comment live so other people around the world also watching can see and you’ve got the recipe for Twitch. Simple.

 

How to keep your kids safe on twitch

 

Twitch safety is always a bit of an issue as the content that’s being pumped out by the media machine giant is all live from independent creators. That means that anything can happen, from foul language and adult themes to uncensored images broadcast from the streaming site.

The chat section can be a bit of a minefield too and with a moderation system in place, the site does try to limit bad language and cyber bullying from its rooms. However when it comes to the bigger streams, this function is rendered useless and with unlimited messages every second, everything slips through the net with minimal censorship.

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The Twitch guidelines state that nobody under the age of 13 should be allowed to sign up and view the content on the site due to the risk of mature content on the site. A good rule of thumb is to allow your children to visit the main larger streams with well known streamers to allow a little more confidence in the system. Twitch is more likely to monitor these streams for anything questionable and take action if necessary so you know you’ll be safer.

 

However, there really is no way to know what will be streamed or said during a broadcast on the site so guidelines to safety are incredibly difficult to quantify. Sticking to the main, larger schemes at the age of 13+ is your best bet – but with censorship limited – it might be a case of kids maturing faster than you might like.

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