The state of Twitch has been a major point of discussion among content creators and viewers over the past couple of months, as targeted harassment has become a larger issue. Streamers of all sizes, typically belonging to a minority or marginalized group, have been subjected to hate raids, in which bot accounts flock to chat and spam it with harmful language. Following continuous outcry and a boycott, Twitch has sent an email to streamers that acknowledges the issue.
Twitch sent out a letter to creators on the platform, including Shacknews, on September 3, 2021, to discuss the ongoing targeted harassment happening on the platform. “First and foremost, no streamer should have to experience malicious and hateful attacks. These are not just violations of our Community Guidelines and Terms of Service, but also attacks on what Twitch communities represent: support, excitement, creativity, positivity,” the letter reads.
Though Twitch doesn’t specify any new modes that are coming to the platform in order to give creators a better means of defending themselves against harassment, it says that it’s working on something. The company also goes on to reiterate that streamers can use Safety Center, Creator Camp, Automod, and Blocked Terms in order to control how viewers engage with their content.
Here is the full letter from Twitch in its entirety:
First and foremost, no streamer should have to experience malicious and hateful attacks. These are not just violations of our Community Guidelines and Terms of Service, but also attacks on what Twitch communities represent: support, excitement, creativity, positivity. Many of you have reached out to us to share your experiences, ideas, and frustrations around botting, hate raids, and harassment of marginalized creators. Thank you. Your input will continue to shape the tools we’re building to better protect all creators. When it comes to safety, our work is always ongoing, never final, which means we are constantly updating our service technology, safety tools, proactive detection filters, and global blocked words list, as well as developing new tools, improved operational support, and policies to curb hateful conduct, harassment, and targeted attacks. Our new tools have been in development for months, and we’re working to launch them as soon as possible.
We know it’s frustrating that we can’t share more details about what we’re working on. The individuals who are targeting marginalized creators are highly motivated. The more information we offer about what we’re doing to stop them, the easier it becomes for them to navigate around those plans. We also know that future tools don’t solve the problems you’re facing today, so below is information about the tools and resources that are currently available. We’ll be hosting a Creator Camp focused on moderation tools on Wednesday, September 15 at 9am PT (4pm GMT). We’ll discuss the tools and tactics below and strategies for using them to combat targeted attacks.
- Safety Center: We’ve consolidated all of our information about safety into a single source, to make it easier to find the information you need. We created a page specifically to address the strategies, tools, and tactics you can use against targeted attacks such as hate raids.
- Creator Camp: Learn from other Creators about streaming on Twitch. For tips about moderation from other Creators check out Creator Camp page on Moderation & Safety or watch the VOD from our most recent moderation stream.
AutoMod & Blocked Terms: Automod uses machine learning to detect messages that could be inappropriate. There are four levels — the higher the level, the more types of messages that will be held for review. You can also block specific terms and emotes in your channel. Automod, and other moderation settings such as blocked terms, email verification, and followers-only mode can be updated in your Dashboard → Settings → moderation.
- Chat Modes: Chat modes, such as followers-only (/followers) allow you to control who can chat, when they can chat, and what they can send. These can be toggled on and off quickly using chat commands. Setting a non-moderator chat delay can also give you and your moderators time to remove any harmful messages before they are visible to chat.
The statement from Twitch comes following the #ADayOffTwitch boycott, where a number of streamers decided not to stream on September 1, as a means to raise awareness for the issues at hand. The boycott led to some of the worst viewership that Twitch has had this year.
The hate raids and targeted harassment over on Twitch have continued to be a concern for creators on the platform. Stick with us here on Shacknews as we’ll continue to keep you updated on the state of things at Twitch.
Donovan Erskine posted a new article, Twitch emails creators to address hate raids and targeted harassment
"we're aware theres a problem" oh fantastic. incredible.