Is Mixer safe?
A complete app review for parents.
What is the Mixer app?
Apple App Store Description about Mixer: “Join now to experience the future of live, interactive streaming for games like: Minecraft, the Telltale Crowd Play series (Guardians of the Galaxy, Minecraft Story Mode Season 2, Batman & The Walking Dead) Killing Floor 2, Death’s Door, Hello Neighbor, & more!
- Participate in your favorite streams by influencing or changing the streamer’s gameplay
- Interact and chat with less than a second of latency. That’s Faster Than Light (FTL) technology.
- Customize your content by following to find what you want faster
Mixer is more than just a streaming app – it’s a streaming community.”
APP Store rating: 17+ (mature themes, violence, profanity)
What do parents need to know about Mixer?
I think I’ve heard of this app but refresh my memory. In August 2019, popular gamer Tyler “Ninja” Blevins left streaming platform Twitch to stream exclusively on Mixer. In October 2019, Mixer became the second most popular platform for streaming.
Microsoft account required for using MIXER. Even though the app is rated 17+ by the Apple App Store, a Microsoft account with an age below 17 is still able to sign into the Mixer app.
It includes lots of popular games. The usual battle royale games (e.g. Fortnite, Apex Legends, PUBG, League of Legends, etc.) are streamed on Mixer. But you will also find Minecraft, music, and web show channels.
It’s live streaming content (which always carries risk). The streams are live so anything goes. We watched a few streams and there was no vulgar language on the Family Friendly channels. Just know that some channels do have streamers that will use vulgar language.
There’s live chat. There is also live chat during the stream. Anyone can comment. You can view a commentator’s profile, send them a private message (called whisper), and report, block, or follow them. Most of the chats we scrolled through were very clean as far as language goes. Some people post links and they will open up in Safari (this blog post will show you how to toggle off Safari).
But our experience shows that any app with a chat feature, especially one that is unmoderated, will always eventually have predatory activity. Just make sure your kids using MIXER know how to handle “tricky people.”
Related Post: Tricky People – A New Stranger Danger in the Digital Age
How to enable Mixer’s minimal parental controls. The only option that resembles parental controls at all is the ability to filter streaming content. But you can’t lock it in. Here are your options:
- On the Profile tab, tap the gear (Settings menu)
- Then Preferences. The default option is “OFF,” which means all content is available.
- Other options include: Moderate -> Teen-rated + Family Friendly, and Strict -> only Family Friendly content is available.
- If you want to limit the time spent on this app, then use Screen Time for Apple devices or Family Link for Android devices.
What about privacy on the app? The default privacy setting is set to “adult,” which you can see on the screen shot below. You might want to change this, which as you can see on the screen shot, can be done at xbox.com (which is slightly inconvenient).
What are Mixer sparks and embers and how can I use them?
- (copied from Mixer’s online support articles): “Sparks are our site wide currency. You acquire these by watching streams and streaming yourself [they’re free]. They can be used on things like purchasing teams or using the interactive controls on streams.” (click the link to read more)
- (Copied from the Mixer blog): “Embers are a paid virtual currency that viewers can purchase directly on Mixer…Embers provide a more direct form of patronage as Mixer Partners receive a fixed dollar amount per Ember spent on their channel.”
Mixer’s notifications work just like social media. During account set-up, you can tell the app to send notifications related to when streamers you’re following start a new live stream or when online challenges might start.
How do I block a streaming account on Mixer?
- Tap on the 3 dots in the upper right corner of any stream that you’re watching.
- From the menu, select “BLOCK” (you can also report abuse from this same menu).
The bottom line – is Mixer safe for your kids?
Due to the live streaming aspect to Mixer, we are hesitant to recommend for tweens unless mom and dad are very involved and their kids are equipped to know how to handle what they’re seeing. For teens, parents might want to co-play from time-t0-time, but at a minimum, be somewhat involved.
Related post: Do Violent Video Games Cause Violent Behavior?
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