What are the Risks?
Sometimes, children and young people can give away more information than they intend to via livestreaming games. Interactions between streamers and users commenting are live, which allows little time to consider a response. Children and young people might answer seemingly innocent questions such as “what school do you go to” or “what football club do you attend”. This information could be used by offenders to determine a young person’s location.
Facebook Gaming has no age verification system, which means that children and young people may be exposed to violent or sexualised gameplay. Children can watch streamers playing games with a PEGI rating of 18+ and will likely be exposed to comment sections which are regularly filled with inappropriate language. There are moderators, but as Facebook Gaming is all live, the risk of exposure to inappropriate content is high.
Streaming is monetised through the use of ‘Stars’. These are similar to Twitch’s ‘Bits’ which are essentially a way of tipping streamers to show appreciation. ‘Stars’ cost real money and are purchased via the platform. There is legitimate concern that children or young people could spend large sums of money.
With Stars, there is also the concern that children or young people who stream might do things outside their normal behaviour in order to gain more stars. Each star received will give a streamer 0.01 USD, but can be purchased in packs of thousands.