Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Twitter Adds a Bouncer for Booze Ads

Want to follow your favorite wine, whiskey or beer on Twitter? Be prepared to show some ID.

Actually, no need for ID. Just tell Twitter that you’re older than 21, and they’ll let you follow brands like Coors Light and Jack Daniels. The messaging service is rolling out a system, built with help from Buddy Media, that lets users self-verify their age.

Ad Age sussed most of this out last month, but Twitter is formally unveiling it today.

The basics: If you want to follow a booze brand that uses the system, you’ll get a direct message sending you to page where you enter your age. Like almost every age-verification system on the Web, it’s not a verification system at all — it’s entirely dependent on users’ honesty. But it’s better than nothing, and once you’ve entered your age in the system, you shouldn’t need to do it again.

Twitter doesn’t require booze advertisers to use its system, but the industry has self-regulations that are meant to keep booze ads out of sight from kids (so they don’t grow up humming the Hamm’s Beer Bear theme). So Twitter is hoping that the offering will make it that much more attractive for alcohol brands and their big ad budgets to make their way to the site.


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik