Is Twitter safe for children?

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Kids are fascinated by social media, and they usually want to use it much earlier than they should. Kids tend to copy their parents, and if you’re always on the phone, they’ll want to do the same.

However, if you don’t have social media, you might be wondering where they heard about Twitter or other platforms. Children know a lot more than we think. When a child starts using a new social platform, the whole school will know about it within a few days. Is Twitter safe for your child? We will try to explain.

What is Twitter?

Twitter is not a new social networking platform. It was launched almost 14 years ago, but a lot has changed since then. Unlike other popular platforms, such as Instagram or TikTok, Twitter is not about photos or videos. Of course, you can also share them, and people often do, but Twitter is all about words.

Users mainly express their thoughts and observations through tweets. These look like short status updates, and a tweet can be up to 280 characters. Previously, the maximum number of characters was 140, but the company has doubled it. However, people generally tend to write short tweets, 8-10 words per post.

Other users can then like these tweets, comment on them and repost them on their profiles. You can engage in a public conversation with other users, or you can chat with them via private messages. People who aren’t registered can read other people’s tweets unless the other person has made their profile private.

Twitter

Is Twitter safe for children?

Young children are not supposed to use Twitter. The platform has a minimum age requirement and people under 13 cannot create an account. However, Twitter has no way of verifying a user’s real age. When creating your account, you will need to fill in your age, and there is no under 13 option.

Unfortunately, many children enter false dates of birth and claim that they are a few years older. Kids have been doing it for a long time and Twitter can’t stop it. It’s best to talk honestly and openly with your kids and explain to them why you don’t want them using Twitter. At least not yet.

Restrictions and punishments will make them want to use these social media even more. You can control what they do on their phone, but you can’t always control what they do when they’re with their friends. That’s why we always suggest talking about sensitive topics instead of punishing children without explanation.

safe twitter for kids

What makes it dangerous?

When talking about why kids shouldn’t use Twitter, there are two main ones. The first reason is the violent content they may encounter. The other is their security because everything you post on Twitter is public, and anyone can find it through Google. We will explain to you in more detail now.

No content filtering

It is impossible to control what your child will see on Twitter, as there is no content filtering. This means that children may encounter violent content, explicit language or images, political jokes, etc.

We’re not trying to say that all Twitter users post inappropriate content, not even the majority of them. But every once in a while, you come across something inappropriate that you wouldn’t want your kids to see.

Additionally, people engage in meaningful discussions about important topics such as jobs or politics, and children may be too young to understand these topics. They should use the Internet for education and entertainment, but age-appropriate.

Anyone can see their tweets

As we said before, you don’t need to have Twitter to see what people are tweeting. Children may not know that everyone can see their messages and it can get them in trouble. In addition, Twitter does not hide that all of its content is searchable.

What does it mean? This means that it’s much easier to find someone’s tweets on Google than their Instagram photos, for example. If you don’t delete your tweets, they will remain public and available to anyone who wants to see them. That is unless your profile is private. We will explain this later.

The kids are too young to think about it, but know that inappropriate tweets have gotten many people in trouble. Some were rejected by the desired university, and others lost their jobs because of inappropriate tweets. In our modern society, we need to be aware of our reputation from an early age.

How to make Twitter safer for your children?

If your kids are already using Twitter and you think it’s too late to ask them to stop, there are a few things you can do. First, ask them to set their profile to private. This way, only their followers will be able to see and reply to their tweets. The private option isn’t very popular among Twitter users, but it’s much better for kids.

Also, they should only accept follow requests from people they know. The most important thing is to talk with your children and explain everything. You should talk to them about what they should and shouldn’t post. Explain that it is not acceptable to share personal information with strangers online.

Tell them they shouldn’t use offensive language, even if they’re joking. Explain to your children that this can have serious consequences in the future.

When it comes to private chats with their friends, you can offer them alternatives. If they want to talk with friends, it’s safer to use WhatsApp or similar chat apps.

Twitter is good but not for all ages

Twitter is a great app, but for those old enough to know the consequences of their actions and choices. It’s not the best app for kids, and that’s why we suggest your kids wait a few years before you start using it. You should talk to them openly and try to explain everything.

Are you on Twitter ? Have you encountered inappropriate content recently and how did you react?

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