According to Twitch TOS, the platform does not allow users under the age of 13. This rule applies to young people live streaming on the platform and signing up for a free account. Even if your channel has low viewership, Twitch is often suspending accounts of people who look like they are younger than the minimum age.
This is primarily due to the unpredictable nature of live streaming where mature content (inappropriate behavior for young people to watch) is common. Even if a specific broadcaster creates child-friendly content, the live chat in streams regularly has inappropriate messages posted by random strangers who look for channels to troll.
What is the Age Limit to Have a Twitch Account?
While Twitch’s official stance is no users 13 years or under, the platform is often recommended for users 15+. Streamers will often ban apparent children who are younger than 13 from their channels or Discord servers to ensure that they are not breaking Twitch’s rules. These accounts will also often be reported.
As Twitch is live content, there is no pre-screening for anything that is played. Parents should be aware that some age-inappropriate content may be seen by their children. Another concern is the private messages system which allows anyone to message your account. That being said, there are some parental controls that will allow you to disable the ability to whisper on Twitch.
Why Do You Have to Be 13 to Use Twitch?
Twitch is renowned for having a younger demographic with 41% aged 16 to 24 who have their own Twitch accounts. Exposure to adult themes is frequent and something parents or guardians should be wary of before letting young viewers use the platform. Though nip-slips and adult content have been seen rarely on the platform, viewers will typically come across adult language, drug use, and video game violence.
While Twitch.tv and many of the other people who frequent the site fight inappropriate behavior through the reporting system, nothing is guaranteed. As it is a livestreaming platform, not everything can be moderated and children may accidentally watch mature content that their parents wouldn’t like.
1. Adult Language
The use of adult language is also common even by larger, famous streamers. Video games create a situation of pressure where even the most cool-headed of people may be inclined to use bad language in the heat of the moment. Twitch works to find ways to prevent people from watching mature content if they don’t want to. Streamers can label their channel as “for mature audiences” to cover language and themes many don’t bother to do so.
Twitch chat can also show a lot of adult themes. With strong language, Twitch lingo, and occasionally slurs, kids can be exposed to a lot of languages that many parents want them to avoid. Even when the streamer has created Twitch chat rules, many users will break them. The site finds itself often issuing warnings or banning channels, but they don’t always have the dedicated resources in their support department needed to keep things accurate or fair.
2. Drug Use
Streamers are allowed to talk openly about drug use providing it is with respect to local, national, and international laws while using the service. Content creators located in states or countries where marijuana is legal can also vape or smoke on stream although it is not recommended. This is something parents should be wary of before letting young children use the platform.
3. Video Game Violence
Violent games are everywhere on Twitch with first-person shooter games (FPS) dominating the rankings for the past several years. More concerning for some parents is the popularity of horror games which include gore violence and torture. While these are mostly indie games with far smaller followings compared to mainstream games they are still easily accessible on the platform. If a child has a favorite streamer that usually plays Minecraft is not uncommon for such streamers to switch games and play something with a much higher age rating at random.
Do You Have to Be 18 to Stream On Twitch?
According to Twitch TOS streamers under the age of 18 need to be under the supervision of a parent or guardian, even if they are live streaming on their own channel. As most people know teenagers who use Twitch are usually very tech-savvy and while this is the official stance of the platform it is often ignored.
Can Kids Stream On Twitch With a Parent’s Permission?
No, users under the age of 13 are not allowed to stream on the platform under any circumstance. It is quite common that streamers let their kids or relatives fill in on their live streams but this is actually a clear violation of Twitch TOS and a bannable offense for both gaming and non-gaming channels.
If a child under the age of 13 sets up their own account and streams on Twitch they will likely go undiscovered for a fair amount of time. Providing they are not using a cam so users can visibly see they are young. Twitch has a large discoverability issue so if a streamer has very few views it is unlikely the channel will be found or get many visits.
Why Children Can’t Stream on Twitch
There are multiple reasons children can’t stream on Twitch but the largest reason is Twitch viewers entering a stream are random strangers, some of which search for streams of children under the age of 13. At best these are trolls who want to target streams to create drama or to watch someone cry. An extremely small proportion of people may want to do worse and will go to various lengths to find out the true identity of the child in order to do them harm.
Children can be easily baited into breaking TOS and they might also end up in clips saying or doing something that could haunt them in later years if it is clipped and saved by someone. Until the world can come up with appropriate long-term solutions to keeping children safe, Twitch will need to step in to make sure that children can’t get their own Twitch accounts until they come of age.
Twitch chat depending on the category of the game can also be notoriously toxic and maintaining a channel often requires mods to police chat and young viewers are unlikely to have such support early on. As a result, they are easy targets for pranks or abuse even coming from other younger viewers.
Twitch Rules for Streaming With Your Children
While the official stance is children under the age of 13 are not allowed to feature on a live stream this is rarely enforced by the platform. Streamers regularly have their kids running around in the background or even have them sit on their laps and introduce them to viewers.