To tackle an increase in so-called hate raids on the platform, Twitch is rolling out a verification system. This aims to prevent trolls from creating numerous accounts in order to wreak havoc on the site.
The move may not stamp out harassment on Twitch entirely, but it could help create a more pleasant environment for streamers and their viewers. Twitch has just announced that it has introduced new verification tools to fight against the various forms of harassment on the platform. An announcement of this kind was particularly anticipated after the organized user boycott that occurred on September 1, and the general uptick in abuse on the site.
Indeed, the measures come in the wake of a recent outpouring of abuse that streamers, primarily from minority or marginalized communities, have been receiving on the platform. Indeed, the hashtags "#DoBetterTwitch" and "#ADayOffTwitch" have gained significant traction in the community.
Clamping down on trolls
A raid is a Twitch feature that allows streamers to send their viewers to someone else's channel when they are offline -- a feature normally used to boost a channel a user likes. But, in the case of a hate raid, a user abuses this feature with bots -- fake user accounts that can be programmed to watch a channel or type messages in a chat field. These are used to flood a streamer's chat section with nauseating messages.
The streaming platform said it hoped the new measures would reduce the number of channels affected by abuse. The verification features are available to streamers in the dedicated moderation section of their accounts. Creators will be able to impose verification via email address or phone number.
To prevent users from attempting to circumvent these new tools, Twitch is allowing one phone number to be linked to five accounts. When one of the accounts is misused, all five will be banned, preventing users from switching from one account to another to evade a channel ban, for example -- unless they have several phone numbers or create a new email address.