Live streaming really hit the social media landscape around earlier this decade when Periscope and Snapchat exploded in popularity. Since the entire thing is recorded and watched live, it is extremely difficult to filter content. This poses a unique challenge for parents who are trying to keep their kids from inappropriate content. We have previously discussed some live streaming best practices for your children, but we didn’t get into the specific apps your kids are using to watch and record live streaming content.
While some live streaming apps do their best to limit inappropriate content posted to their platform, there are other apps that just don’t even care. Which apps should you be the most concerned with?
Cake – This new live streaming app is definitely bad news for your children. The platform is basically set up to help people sell their content to people. You can give live streamers “gifts” that will translate into real money. You can also interact with fans and find new people to chat with. It seems almost like those live party phone lines they used to advertise late at night. The app is rated Mature, meaning it is rated only for adults over the age of 18. Sexual content will likely be easily located within this app.
Twitch – As one of the most popular live streaming applications, Twitch is especially huge with gamers. Most kids posting to Twitch record themselves playing various video games. While I may not understand it, my kids just love watching other people play games, instead of playing the games themselves. During games, some users might use foul language or do inappropriate things inside the video games. They also may be playing mature rated games that depict violence and language.
Instagram – Instagram offers live streaming on its platform among other social sharing features. The popular social media application does its best to limit inappropriate content and will remove images, videos and users as they are reported, but there are definitely things that slip through the cracks. As long as you are following users you know will be appropriate at all times, you should be safe. However, just be aware that the nature of live streaming does not allow for content filtering on the fly.
Facebook – Much like Instagram, you can watch live streaming events through Facebook from users you follow, friends, pages, and groups. Facebook does an even better job at preventing the things you really wouldn’t want your children viewing than Instagram. Again, continue to be vigilant about what your children are actually watching though.
YouTube – While there are so many videos to consume on YouTube, they do also offer live streaming. Many channels will do this for special events. While YouTube does provide some basic filtering, there are many videos that would definitely be deemed inappropriate for children. You can check up on what videos your kids are watching through Boomerang, so you are aware of even the live streaming shows your children have viewed.
The world of live streaming can be a scary place for children. Live content can always go very very wrong, since it is live. Just be aware of the apps your kids are using to make sure they don’t come across any live shows you would not like them to view.
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