As Twitter attempts to break into the mainstream, it’s bound to attract younger Tweeters eager to get stuck into the wide world of microblogging. That doesn’t mean there aren’t potential problems for Twitter itself, though. All of its accounts and tweets will be exposed to people of all ages, including young children who may stumble across more nefarious content while simply trying to reach their favourite celebrity or show.
Image credit: Paul Henman
To try and mitigate the problem, Twitter has introduced a voluntary age check for anyone looking at alcohol related brands on the social network. Anyone who wants to follow the Bud Light Twitter account, for example, will have to input their age. If they clear the minimum age for drinking in their particularly country, then Twitter will open the gates.
Naturally, Twitter gets to protect itself while steering such brands away from anyone younger than 21. Still, age verification gates online are extremely easy to bypass – how hard is it to tell a website that you were born in 1928? Not very. It may even be better to give the wrong age, in some ways. VentureBeat notes that Twitter uses the information for ad tracking purposes: “[W]e may identify the number of users within an age range that follow a specific account or types of accounts.”
Twitter’s age verification is rolling out right now, with Bud Light, Jim Beam, Knob Creek,Heineken, and Bacardi all onboard with the initial tests.
Spotted at The Verge