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Children Stream on Twitch—Where Potential Predators Find Them

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Children Stream on Twitch—Where Potential Predators Find Them

Photo caption: “Tech firms have consistently failed to design their sites with child safety in mind.” Photo: Getty Images. Article by Cecilia D’Anastasio.

A WIRED investigation found dozens of channels belong to children apparently under 13 and anonymous chat participants sending inappropriate messages their way.

Last weekend, a young girl held up her smartphone and hit the Go Live button on Twitch’s mobile app. Her stream appeared under Twitch’s Just Chatting section, where people livestream themselves talking to their viewers. She explains that she’s about to do her morning routine. Within minutes, 11 viewers filed in, including her best friend and several strangers. One viewer asks her age. They stick around after she says she’s 10.

As she gets out her toothbrush, one anonymous viewer asks in an adjoining chat window whether she has WhatsApp and says she is cute. Another tells her that she is beautiful. Her friend types into chat, “Bro I do not like this at all” and logs off. Later in the stream, the girl notes that a friend of hers got 15 followers in an hour and, comparing her own follower count, asks whether she’s ugly or weird. […]

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