What parents need to know about Twitch

Many people have never even heard of it – but for gamers, Twitch is big. On 15 June 2020, for example, 2.3 million users (a record for the platform) were using it to watch someone else play Fortnite. Quite staggering, when you consider it. Perhaps less surprising if we provide the context that Twitch is owned by Amazon and sits among the top 30 most-visited sites on the internet.

Within an online community of roughly 15 million people, however, one will invariably find a proportion of bad apples. Twitch, unfortunately, is no exception – with potential bullying and the chance of unsolicited contact from strangers among the hazards to young people. Our #WakeUpWednesday guide brings trusted adults the essential information on Twitch.

The most popular channels focus (perhaps predictably) on Fortnite, League of Legends, Grand Theft Auto and Valorant – but whatever franchise someone favours, Twitch makes it easy to find fellow devotees to share gaming experiences with in real time, learning from each other and swapping tips and tactics to improve their own skills. However, as in so many areas of the online world, people on Twitch also exchange hurtful remarks or age-inappropriate content (streams of games which might be too violent or frightening for younger viewers, for example). Our #WakeUpWednesday guide this week assesses the possible risks to young users of Twitch.