Some alcohol companies are taking measures to ensure Twitter community members under the legal drinking age can’t follow their tweets.

At least one alcohol company is prompting new followers to verify their age, reports Josh Davis of LLsocial.com. When someone clicks the follow button, they receive a direct message urging them to visit a website and input their age. Those who do not do so within an hour are blocked from following the account.

(In order to test this report, the Daily Dot followed the account and waited for a direct message. However, we have yet to receive an age verification prompt.)

Davis highlights the phenomenon in the video below: 

Most of the tweets on alcohol brands like the Woodford Reserve and Jack Daniel’s Honey accounts include a disclaimer that those tweets are intended for those aged 21 and older only.

Alcohol advertising is largely self-regulated in the U.S. Back in September, the alcohol industry enacted new guidelines for promoting goods on social networks in the U.S. and Europe.

Among these was a measure that aimed to protect those under the legal drinking age in their area from seeing content from alcohol companies through the use of so-called “age gates.”

However, Twitter and Facebook have made this concept all but impossible.

Before Facebook rolled out its new Timeline feature, brands were able to use an application that prevented anyone from seeing their content without verifying their age first. However, Timeline doesn’t support age gates. Brands can still pin verification apps to the top of the Timeline, but there’s no guarantee readers will use them.

Meanwhile, Twitter doesn’t have age verification at all. In fact, the network doesn’t even ask for your birthday when you sign up. It insists that users are aged 13 or older, but has no way of verifying this.

For this reason, the alcohol companies’ Twitter age-verification system is hardly perfect. There are a number of ways around an age gate. Nothing prevents users from inputting false birth dates. If it were harder to do, alcohol companies’ accounts could be added to a restricted Twitter list in order to let only of-age users follow their tweets.

This issue illustrates a catch-22 at play for spirits firms. Making their tweets private would certainly help those under 21 from viewing their messages. However, that would nullify the aim of promoting their products to as wide an audience as possible.

Until alcohol firms find a way to install effective age gates, pretty much anyone can view gems such as this: “What do you mean it’s only Wednesday? Stay strong.”

Powerful marketing there.

Photo by wanderstruck