Twitter’s Age-Screening Process Aimed at Keeping Minors from Following Alcohol Brands

If you want to follow an alcohol brand on Twitter, get ready to share your birthdate first. Operational from November 25, Twitter users will need to go through an age-screening process, one the micro-blogging site calls a ‘safe and responsible’ step for brands to connect with the right audience.

How does it work? You first visit the account page of the alcohol brand you want to follow. You will then be prompted to submit your age to complete the follow. Twitter will confirm your follower status after verifying your age against the legal drinking age in your country.

The question is, will you be able to lie your way into the system? At first, it appears so. After all, you just need to fake your birth year, no big deal. And it would be preposterous to imagine that no one lies about their age online. But Twitter doesn’t stop at just asking for your birthdate. The fine print accompanying this alcohol content marketing gateway, which you have to agree to, is quite interesting.

So when you share your birthdate to follow your favorite alcohol brand, you have to agree to two terms set by Twitter. One, you must be okay with the site verifying that you are of legal age, by cross-checking with third-party service providers. Information about these companies and the methods of collection are presently unknown. Second, Twitter may also share your age data with third parties for marketing purposes; the company will do this in keeping with its privacy policy.

The age-screening process is applicable to users following alcohol brands on the web and via Twitter apps on iOs, Android, mobile web and Windows Phone. Bacardi, Bud Light, Jim Beam and Knob Creek are presently integrating the tool into their Twitter ad strategy.

Photo by Jordan Gosselin / CC BY 3.0