Got ID? Booze Brands Start Carding on Twitter

PHOTO: Popular booze brands are now asking their Twitter account followers to prove their age.
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You're about to get carded in cyberspace.

Brand names including Budweiser and Bacardi are automatically sending direct messages to anyone who follows their Twitter accounts, asking them to verify their age.

"One of the biggest challenges for alcohol brands is how they connect with an age-appropriate audience," said Tarun Jain, product manager for Twitter, on the company's blog. "Starting today, alcohol brands can safely grow their of-age network of Twitter followers in a way that's simpler than before."

Granted, age restrictions aren't heavily enforced on social media. There's no need to shell out money for a fake ID, since any Twitter user can lie about their age and say they're older than 21. The age verification process is no different than the one used on those companies' websites to weed out people too young to legally drink.

In the privacy policy, Twitter writes that "in order to perform this function we may use third-party service providers to collect your information, including your birthdate." In addition, Twitter can share its acquired age data and statistics with third parties for marketing purposes.

Jain said that each brand must decide whether to use this screening process or not. Not every beer and booze company requires this age verification though. Pabst Blue Ribbon and Sierra Nevada, among others, currently do not send the direct messages.

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