According to Pew Internet Research, the number of teens who use Twitter has more than doubled in the last couple of years. Last week, Twitter quietly announced that similar to how it’s done at Facebook, users can now tag other people in photos they post to Twitter. This could be a problem for Twitter fans, and teens are no exception.
It seems like social media burst onto the scene overnight, and in its short existence, the number of available networks and how they are used has changed dramatically. We’d argue that the change is especially dramatic in the case of teens, and Facebook/Twitter is a perfect example.
While most teens who are active online do have a Facebook profile, that is no longer “where the action is”. Teens know that their parents and teachers are also on Facebook, so they have migrated their riskier behavior away to other apps and networks, Twitter being one of them.
With photo tagging now enabled on Twitter, there is a risk of your teen being involuntarily outed with no advance warning, whether he appears in a photo or not.
Let’s say your teen goes to a party where underage drinking is happening, but he doesn’t partake in the drinking or appear in any photos. A picture from the party can be tagged with your son’s name even if he isn’t in the photo. Some viewers of the photo might assume that he is one of the underage drinkers.
As a parent trying to help your teen avoid a situation like the one described above, there are steps you and your teen can discuss implementing. Each user’s Twitter settings control who can tag them in photos. To block being tagged in photos entirely:
- In Twitter, go to Settings
- Click on Security and Privacy
- Click on Do not allow anyone to tag me in photos
To remove your name from pictures in which you have been tagged:
- Click on Notifications
- Select the tweet you’re tagged in
- Click the (…) option
- Select Remove tag from photo
If you haven’t adjusted the privacy settings and your son is tagged in an inappropriate way more than once, we’d recommend blocking the other user to ensure it doesn’t happen again. You can check out the company’s site for more information about posting pictures to Twitter.
This might seem like the type of issue that won’t come up very often, but it is exactly the type of thing that the average teen is not likely to focus on until it becomes a problem. As a parent, forewarning teens of the risks and available protection is a great start.
Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring teen internet activity.