Most social media platforms are required by law to have new users be 13 years or older to create an account. Twitch is no different. But if you joke about being 12 in chat, you will get banned from the streaming platform — even if you already reached the required age to use it.
Streamer Toastie shared a clip from her recent Twitch stream on Twitter talking about how she has seen many of her fans get banned from Twitch for typing that they’re 12 as a joke in chat. She talked about one user by the name of hughseyy_ as an example.
“You can’t say ‘I’m 12’ guys,” Toastie said. “I have seen people get banned for that in my own channel. If you say ‘I am 12’ and then go ‘haha joke,’ there’s a bot on Twitch that will ban you. So don’t even.”
In the middle of her lecture, hughesyy_ initially typed “I’m 13” and then wrote “sorry I meant 12,” despite Toastie’s warnings. “All it takes is for someone to report you and you’re gone,” she said. Five minutes later, Toastie discovered that hughesyy_’s account got banned from Twitch indefinitely. Seeing another member of her community get banned from the platform for doing something she told them not to immediately left her speechless.
Twitch seems to take care of underage users as swiftly as they do with other problems, such as bigotry and harassment. If it finds out that you’re under 13, whether you’re telling the truth or not, your account can be taken down quickly. With COPPA being focused on protecting children 12 and under online, its hands are tied.