Twitter: Simple Communications app, versatile, just monitor

Twitter is a widely used platform for communication, offering simplicity and instant interaction with multiple users in group conversations. It allows for quick exchange of texts, sharing pictures, and URLs of news articles.

While it may be a preferred mode of communication for many, especially young people, it is important to acknowledge that Twitter can have both positive and negative aspects, particularly when it comes to youth.  For children, Twitter poses certain risks that parents, grandparents, and guardians should be aware of.

Twitter has become a source for accessing explicit content, including pornography.  Children may use Twitter for this purpose, as it may not raise suspicion during a quick browser history check.  They can access it anonymously through any web browser without even signing up for an account.

There is a lack of control over followers since Twitter is an open platform.  Your children may not have control over who follows them. To manage their follower list, users need to set their profiles to private, requiring them to personally screen and accept each follower.  It is advisable to discuss with your child the importance of privacy settings and whether they should consider making their account private.

Retweeting is a feature on Twitter where a tweet can be shared with others.  This means that your child’s content has the potential to go viral and reach a wide audience, including strangers.  It’s essential to have conversations with your child about the possible consequences of retweeting, as negative comments or cyberbullying can be associated with shared content.

Twitter allows users to share their location, which can be dangerous if misused. Strangers can easily locate your child if they have access to their location information.  Make sure your children turns off location services in their settings as a safety measure.

Subtweeting refers to tweeting negatively about someone without explicitly mentioning their name.  Although it may seem harmless, it can lead to distress for the target and can escalate into cyberbullying.  Help your children understand the impact of their words online.  Encourage them to mute certain words or hashtags, and block negative accounts if they encounter such behavior.

By default, tweets on Twitter are set to public, meaning anyone can see what your children posts, unless they manually change their privacy settings. It is important to educate your children about the implications of public sharing and guide them in adjusting their privacy settings accordingly.

Twitter offers direct messaging, which enables private conversations between users. This feature can be exploited by predators who may attempt to groom children. Encourage your children to review their direct message settings and ensure they only allow messages from known individuals.

While Twitter has its dangers, it can also provide benefits such as community building, learning from others, and exploring new interests.  As a parent, grandparent, or guardian, it is crucial to engage in regular conversations with your children about online safety.  Please monitor their use of the platform, and guide them in making responsible decisions.

Always encourage them to set their profiles to private, think before posting anything online, and report any suspicious or concerning activities.  By implementing these precautions, you can help keep your children safe while using Twitter.