Twitter is one of the most popular social networking service. According to a December 2022 report from Statista, Twitter has 368 million daily active users, but a Pew Research Center study indicates declining interest from youth—only 23% of teens report ever using the app (down from 33% in 2015). Allowing 280 characters per tweet, Twitters serves as a “microblogging” site—encouraging users to interact fast and often. Twitter is considered a platform for breaking news, celebrities, and comedians with users following other accounts and viewing a updating scroll of real-time tweets. Users can also check out trending topics or browse general subject categories and specific hashtags. Issues with cyberbullying, hate speech, hurtful comments, and misinformation have been associated with Twitter.
The platform is considered a go-to source for pornography.
- A user’s search history can easily be deleted.
- Twitter openly allows pornography as long as it is labeled “sensitive.”
Anyone searching for adult content can easily access inappropriate images and videos.
- Users can share graphic violence or other adult content within tweets.
- Twitter’s rules say someone may not post media that is excessively gory or share violent or adult content within live video, in profile headers, and banner images.
Unless a user changes their privacy settings, anyone, anywhere, can see a user’s tweets.
- Location services allow users to “check-in”—letting the world know where they are in real time.
- Online predators can DM or direct message kids. They’ll often ask minors if they have accounts on lesser-known platforms where they can have more private conversations.
We encourage parents to have conversations about expectations of what’s appropriate to post and what children should do if they see inappropriate content. You can also sit down together to review privacy settings. A user can block message requests on Twitter from anyone they do not follow. This is a helpful measure to prevent online predators or bullies from connecting with children in a more private way. Disabling location services can help prevent strangers from potentially being able to find their location. Parents can also mute certain words or phrases and even block negative accounts to help prevent their child from viewing this content on their timeline. How to use advanced muting options is a great step-by-step guide on muting options for words and hashtags. Many of these tasks must be done within the app rather than through Twitter’s website. Anti-virus company Kapersky also offers more internet safety tips on Twitter.
Want To Learn More?
For more information about Twitter, check out Common Sense Media’s Twitter review and Bark’s 7 Things Parents Need to Know guide. There’s also a Forbes article discussing a recent reduction in the number of people tasked to track child sexual exploitation content on Twitter.