App Guide


Name: Twitter

Owned By: Publicly Traded

Category: News

Operating System: IOS and Android

Available for download: Yes

Desktop version: Yes

Approximate release date: 2006

Age Rating*: Rated 17+ for the following:

  • Infrequent/mild sexual content and nudity
  • Infrequent/mild profanity or crude humor 
  • Frequent/intense mature/suggestive themes

Brief Description*: Join the conversation! Retweet, chime in on a thread, go viral, or just scroll through the Twitter timeline to stay on top of what everyone’s talking about. Twitter is your go-to social media app and the new media source for what’s happening in the world, straight from the accounts of the influential people who affect your world day-to-day.

*Information from the App Store

  • Access to camera

    Users can take photos straight from the Twitter app.

  • Access to contacts

    Users have the option to sync their phone contacts to their Twitter account.

  • Access to photo gallery

    Users can upload photos and videos directly to Twitter from their photo gallery.

  • Anonymous posting (posting without a username or other identifiers)

    All tweets are attached to a username or other identifier.

  • Business accounts (used for business)

    Many businesses have Twitter accounts to promote their goods and services.

  • Clear history function

    Users have the option to erase their search history.

  • Collects user’s information

    Twitter may use data to track you across apps and websites owned by other companies, including purchases, contact information, browsing history, usage data, location, user content, and identifiers. Additionally, data may be collected and linked to identity, including purchases, contact information, user content, browsing history, usage data, location, contacts, search history, identifiers, and diagnostics.

  • Connect with strangers (ability to)

    Users can follow other uses whom they may or may not know.

  • Cyberbullying opportunities

    Similar to other social media platforms, cyberbullying is plausible.

  • Death themes and/or dark content/imagery/references

    This type of content is not typically found on Twitter.

  • Direct messaging (private)

    Users can send direct messages to other people on Twitter.

  • Disappearing messages/images

    Messages and images do not disappear when they are opened.

  • Emoji search

    Users can search for content by using emojis and keywords.

  • Established accounts available for purchase online

    You can’t legally buy accounts, but you can pay for advertising on accounts with a large following.

  • Firearms content/imagery/references

    While this type of content is not common to find on Twitter, it can be discovered especially if you search for it.

  • Graphic content warning (blurred graphic content before viewing)

    When users post content with graphic content, their tweet will be marked as containing sensitive material.

  • Group chat function

    Twitter has a group message function that allows up to 20 users within one group chat.

  • Group video chat function

    Twitter does not have a group video chat function, but users can go live.

  • Hashtag use (uses hashtags as a search/directory)

    Users can search for content by using hashtags. They can also incorporate hashtags on posts.

  • Hidden web browser

    There is not a hidden web browser on Twitter.

  • Image sharing

    Users can share images with each other via private message or by posting a tweet.

  • Live streaming function

    Users can live stream as well as watch live streams with other accounts that aren’t protected.

  • Location dependent services

    Twitter does not need location information in order to be used.

  • Location services enabling

    Twitter can collect, store, and use your precise location to improve their services.

  • Login with Facebook

    Users cannot login with Facebook, they must create Twitter credentials.

  • Marketing (sponsored content)

    Many businesses post sponsored content to market their products and services.

  • Offline functionality (can be accessed without WiFi/cell service)

    To access Twitter, you need to have WiFi or cell service.

  • Password protected (beyond account password)

    Users only need their account password to use Twitter's features.

  • Photo filters and editing

    Once users add a photo to tweet, they can edit and alter images.

  • Pornography

    While this type of content is not common to find on Twitter, it can be discovered especially if you search for it.

  • Privacy settings (able to set account as private)

    Users have the option to make their account public or private.

  • Reporting functions (report bullying, inappropriate content)

    Users can report tweets, media, and profiles for violations.

  • Scoring system (trophies, points, rewards, etc.)

    Users can "like" and "retweet" tweets created by other users.

  • Screenshot notifications

    Users will not be notified when someone takes a screenshot of their content or profile.

  • Search function (content within the app)

    Users can search for content directly from the app.

  • Self -promotion for popularity or marketing

    Both individuals and companies can promote themselves on Twitter.

  • Sexual accounts accessible by purchase

    Users cannot access sexual accounts by purchase.

  • Upgradable (for more content or to remove ads)

    You cannot upgrade your Twitter account for more content or to remove ads.

  • Video chatting

    Video chatting is not a feature on Twitter. However, users can live stream and watch other user’s live streams.

  • Voice chatting

    Spaces is a new feature where users can have a live audio conversation on Twitter and others can join, listen, and speak.

  • Web browsing (built into the app)

    There is not a web browser built into the app.

Reviewed By: Ryan

While Twitter has some inappropriate content on it, not all users are posting/viewing inappropriate content. However, stumbling upon it could happen. Setting expectations and discussing behaviors for using the app is very important as a parent. Twitter itself isn’t dangerous, but a youth posting risky content could turn into a dangerous situation.

I don’t often have Twitter-related concerns raised to me by elementary or middle school students. High-school-aged youth are the ones, from my experience, that gravitate towards Twitter. Twitter is a great way for people to share messages, information and pride about their lives. Often schools will have Twitter accounts, as will the teachers and administrators, to provide a platform for the school performances, athletic events, or student successes.

Mental health content is not as searchable as it is on other platforms such as Instagram or Snapchat. However, it can be found if you follow some hashtags. Eating disorder content can be found using the hashtags #thinspiration or #thinspo.  Like any other platform, people are posting stories of their struggles. Searching #suicide will get you a “Help is available” message from Twitter with the Suicide Lifeline phone number and Twitter handle.

Drug, alcohol, and vaping content is available as well. A quick search of #vape will get you to posts and accounts where you can view vaping and also links to online stores to purchase vape related products. #weed will get you to the drug related content. #weedmaps takes you to an account that “is a community where businesses and consumers can search and discover #cannabis products.”

There is a lot of sexual content on Twitter. A quick image search of #nude will, as of this writing, get you “no results.”  However, a search of #kinky will take you directly to sexual content including porn. If a user is trying to view this content, they have to allow this content to be viewable. To view inappropriate content you have to go to a web browser and log in to adjust this setting. All the user has to do is go to “Settings and Privacy> Privacy and safety>Safety>Tweet Media” and turn on “Display media that may contain sensitive content.” In that same area uncheck the “Hide sensitive content.” Then, they can go back to their app, which will now be able to view porn.  A few hashtags that will get them there are #porn #slut #sexting #camgirls #horny #milf #kikgirl.

Safety Tips

My #1 recommendation: I would not let children less than 17 use Twitter. If you are going to let your child have a Twitter account, you should have an account as well so that you can effectively educate them on how to use it responsibly.

Here are some other suggestions:

  • Do not use full names as usernames.
  • Set the account to private
  • Do not post personal information such as drivers license, school ID’s, state ID’s, phone numbers, birth certificates, school schedules and other identifying information.
  • Turn off location services
  • Use the reporting system when they see inappropriate content.
  • Talk to a parent if they see a concerning post from a friend (mental health, bullying, inappropriate posts).
  • Report bullying both through Twitter’s reporting function and to a parent.
  • Save screenshots of bullying behaviors.
  • Block bullies.
  • Stick with the age restrictions
  • Even though an account is private, privacy isn’t guaranteed. Once a post is shared it is totally out of the users’ control.
  • A digital reputation begins the moment an account is opened. What they post now could affect them later in life.

Reviewed by: Abby M

As with most forms of social media, Twitter has many positive and negative aspects. It can be a great way to feel more connected with the rest of the world, but it can also breed cyberbullying. Generally speaking, your child is unlikely to stumble upon much adult content unless they are intentionally looking for it, so you shouldn’t have to worry about that.

I would recommend that if you are a parent, let your kid have a Twitter account if they have specifically asked for one. Then, follow your kid’s account. That way, you have an idea of how your child is using social media and you can address any issues with them.  If your child asks for a Twitter account and you refuse to let them get one, they may decide to get one even without your permission. I did that when I was about 11 or 12 and my mom told me I couldn’t have any social media. My mom had no idea what I was doing for many months. If you allow your kid to have access to social media such as Twitter, they are more likely to be open with you about what they’re using it for, that way you are actually aware of the situation if any issues arise.

About Abby

Abby is a graduate of Montour High School’s Class of 2019. She will be attending Gettysburg College beginning this fall and hopes to study Organization and Management. In her free time, she loves to spend time with her pets, write stories, and listen to music.