Ofcom secures better protections for children on Twitch

Published: 13 May 2024
Last updated: 13 May 2024

Children in the UK will be better protected from harmful videos on Twitch after Ofcom raised concerns about the online platform’s safety measures.

In January, we raised concerns with Twitch about the measures it had in place to protect under-18s from harmful video content.

Twitch requires its users to label content that may have mature content such as sexual themes, gambling, drugs, intoxication, excessive tobacco use and violent or graphic depictions. However, Ofcom was concerned that Twitch was not doing enough to prevent children from accessing videos labelled as containing such content.

Following engagement with Ofcom, Twitch has made changes to the content available on its homepage, as well as introducing a number of protection measures to stop children accessing harmful content. These include:

  • preventing all viewers in the UK who are either logged-out (and whose age would therefore be unknown), or logged-in and declared as under 18, from accessing content labelled with sexual themes or gambling;
  • removing content tagged with sexual themes, gambling, drugs, intoxication or excessive tobacco use and violent and graphic depictions from the Twitch homepage; and
  • adding a new section to Twitch’s Guide for Parents and Educators about content classification labelling, which aims to help adults to make informed decisions about the types of content children can watch on the platform.

We will continue to monitor the platform to assess whether these changes are effective to protect under-18s from harmful material. We also plan to publish a series of reports on evaluating  the effectiveness of online safety measures later in the summer.

Before the Online Safety Act comes into force, video-sharing platforms (VSPs) established in the UK are required to take appropriate measures to prevent under-18s from accessing pornography and other harmful material, under existing regulations.

Once the VSP regime is repealed by the UK Government, platforms will have to comply with a broader set of duties under the new online safety regime.

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