This hasn't been a good day for Twitch. A new report has suggested that nearly 2,000 users have been systemically following underage users across the platform. A significant number of those users have exhibited strange patterns that suggest they may be cataloging children's livestreams.
"Bloomberg verified that the 1,976 accounts had numerous children in their following lists," reads the Bloomberg report. "Bloomberg also reviewed live video recordings and other documentation and analysis by the researcher. In the course of reporting, Bloomberg discovered additional live videos and predatory accounts not cataloged by the researcher, suggesting the problem could be even more widespread than the data portrays."
Of the nearly 2,000 accounts cited, Bloomberg observed various grooming tactics and other unsettling actions at work. The report acknowledges that Twitch has increased the size of its law enforcement response team and has worked with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in an effort to curb these activities. However, given the size and scope of Twitch's user base, successfully monitoring everything is nearly impossible.
Twitch issued its response in the same Bloomberg report, noting:
"Preventing child harm is one of our most fundamental responsibilities as a society. We do not allow children under 13 to use Twitch, and preventing our service from being used for harm is one of our biggest priorities. We know that online platforms can be used to cause harm to children, and we have made extensive investments over the last two years to better stay ahead of bad actors and prevent any users who may be under 13 from accessing Twitch."
Despite Twitch's statement, Bloomberg's report notes that there may be even more child predator cases that have flown completely under the radar. Part of that is because there's little that can be done to actually stop kids from livestreaming, whether it be on Twitch, YouTube, or TikTok. The report also notes that the issue has worsened since the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw livestreaming numbers hit record levels.
This problem is likely not going away for Twitch, so we'll be sure to monitor this story for any updates.
Ozzie Mejia posted a new article, Twitch reportedly attracting child predators seeking kids' livestreams
You don't say!
Im not surprised, this is such a toxic platform. Ive stopped used twitch a long time ago and did not regret it, there are a lot of other alternatives
there are a lot of other alternatives such youtube, goodgame, cover.gg for example, or any other