Twitter: What Parents Need to Know

Twitter is continuously growing in the social media world and most kids today have a twitter account. Twitter allows a person to ‘tweet’ (a short message) their opinions, ideas, thoughts, and re-tweet the thoughts and posts of others on Twitter. It’s an ‘instant’ information site and allows people to interact with a wide host of people from all over the world. They can stay up to date on news, events, celebrities, and trends. But there are a few things to know about twitter and parents should be aware of this massive social media platform.

Trolling: A twitter troll is a person who posts negative or offensive comments online to intentionally provoke a reaction from an individual. This includes bullying, harassment, stalking, and more.  This can mean posting racist comments to sexist hate. For some victims of Twitter trolls, this can be damaging to their character, or worse.

Fake News: Because of the speed in which tweets are shared, which can be unbelievably fast, fake news can be circulated across Twitter quickly. This can be upsetting or harmful to many and can be re-tweeted before the news has been verified as true or not.

Inappropriate Content: Because Twitter gives its users the freedom to post their personal thoughts, people can post nearly anything they want despite regulations or restrictions on the platform. Inappropriate language is allowed on Twitter as long as it doesn’t violate the rules, and children may become normalized to sensitive material.

As a parent, there are a few different things to help protect your child from a variety of content on Twitter. Check account settings and make sure the privacy settings are set to only allow re-tweets from your child to happen via the approval of your child. Also, changing the settings so your child cannot receive any DM’s (direct messaging), helps protect your child from any trolling attacks or inappropriate relationships. Turning off video auto-play is another way to protect your child from sensitive material.

Twitter is a great social media platform. It allows real-time information from around the world and lets people interact with one another about current social relevance. Helping protect your child from those intending harm is as easy as getting familiar with the platform yourself. Understanding how any social media platform works will help you keep your child safe from inappropriate information.

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