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What age is ok to start twitter account?

(7 Posts)
gardeningmama Sun 11-Nov-12 22:43:11

15 yr old ds announces he has opened a twitter account, and he already has FIVE followers! However, dh and I wonder if he is mature enough to deal with the potential vulnerability this forum can expose users to. He has already come a cropper a couple of times with facebook, firstly 18 months or so ago in his early days and once more recently, both times involving saying unkind, inappropriate things to ex "girlfriends". He has faced those consequences and hopefully learnt from them but I fear twitter will leave him far more exposed in a much larger and even more uncontrollable environment. I have trouble getting to grips with either social media so feel poorly equipped to know whether we are ok to just leave him be to get on with it. Any tips or shared experience would be great to hear.

gemblags1980 Sun 11-Nov-12 23:35:49

Hi I think 15 is ok, but if you want to bring home the potential pitfalls try this book by Vanessa Rogers activities-help-children-and-teens-stay-safe-texting-twittering-social-networking

It has some great tips for parents too, good luck

gemblags1980 Sun 11-Nov-12 23:41:32

Sorry the link didn't convert the book is called:

Cyberbullying, Activities to Help Children and Teens to Stay Safe in a Texting, Twittering, Social Networking World by Vanessa Rodgers £ 9.99. Probably cheaper on amazon

SecretSquirrels Mon 12-Nov-12 14:03:28

I think many parents have become quite knowledgeable about the pitfalls of facebook but know little about twitter. On the face of it it sounds simple but it's much harder to keep tabs on (they use on line names like MN). I have seen posts by some of DS2's "followers" which use very offensive language. Their parents wouldn't necessarily be aware of their on line behaviour.

gardeningmama Mon 12-Nov-12 16:56:14

Thanks for the feedback so far. I found a book on my shelves I had completely forgotten someone had given me a couple of years ago, "The Twitter Book" by O'Reilly & Milstein, which is more about how to set up and use a twitter account rather than the pitfalls, but it looks helpful. Seems like I shall have to have my own account so that I can follow ds! I think the most important thing he needs to be aware of (and the most useful from my point of view) is that it is a PUBLIC FORUM and therefore I can read everything he says - so he will have to watch his words grin

stargirl1701 Mon 12-Nov-12 16:59:31

Remind him that the CPS have prosecuted people for tweets. Threats, gossip, offensive language are all against the law and Twitter is considered publishing as it not restricted to just your friends.

gardeningmama Thu 15-Nov-12 22:10:30

Thanks all, I'm feeling a bit more confident now and it has been timely and useful to have all this (albeit unpleasant) stuff in the news about Lord McAlpine and the misuse/downside/dangers of Twitter use, to illustrate to ds how responsible you have to be. All the best smile

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