Twitter does not ask for a date of birth when users create an account and has no minimum age.
London - Children are being exposed to hardcore pornography on Twitter as they search for pop stars and celebrities.

Unsolicited footage depicting graphic sex acts frequently appear on the social networking sites' results section.

In most cases, the videos play automatically when users search for names including Kate Middleton, Beyoncé and Kate Winslet.

Even searches for political events can result in unwanted porn flooding the feed.

Most are posted by porn stars trying to drum up custom for their paid-for websites and webcam sex pages. The explicit clips appear even when the Twitter account has been set to a safe mode where sensitive content is supposed to be hidden.

Twitter does not ask for a date of birth when users create an account and has no minimum age. It allows the porn stars to use the networking site, but on the condition they do not feature explicit material in their profile pictures.

However, they frequently post rolling videos of hardcore sex scenes with unrelated mentions of Hollywood stars or celebrities.

Twitter gives users an option to edit their settings so they receive warnings about tweets that contain "material that may be sensitive". But even with these settings turned on pornographic content is often automatically displayed.

Twitter allows any internet user to look at content on the site without signing in.

This means even if the site did introduce age restrictions, children would still be able to view pornography posted on Twitter accounts without logging in.

Twitter stressed that the porn videos were posted by rogue accounts looking to circumnavigate its rules, and said it takes action as quickly as possible to remove them.

It said it has tools in place to detect spam, but also relies on users reporting offending accounts or tweets. New accounts automatically play videos that appear in results feeds, but this can be disabled by changing the settings.

The revelations come as Twitter boasted how it gained 9 million new users in the past 3 months.

The site reported monthly active users had risen to 328 million, up from 319 million in the last quarter, and a six percent increase on this time last year. The platform's recently established live video streaming service also reported 31 percent more interaction this quarter, with 45 million unique views across more than 800 hours of live video.

However, the company's revenue plunged eight percent from £464 million (more than R8-billion) to £427m during the same period