Twitch Introduce New Tools and Guidelines to Tackle Hate Speech and Harassment
Twitch are hoping the new changes will encourage a more ‘workplace-style’ approach from streamers as they consider which comments might or might-not amount to harassment. If you are affected by anything touched on within this article, follow the links to our various support services or click on the blue logo icon at the bottom right of the screen to start using Cybersmile Assistant, our smart AI support assistant.
Twitch has announced new tools and guidelines in an effort to address the problem of abusive and hateful speech. The Amazon owned platform has broadened its approach in dealing with harassment to include the banning of lewd or repeated comments about anyone’s physical appearance and expressly prohibiting the sending of unsolicited links to inappropriate content. The platform has also informed streamers they could be banned for displaying racist symbols or for targeting minority groups.
The latest update to user guidelines includes spelling out more explicitly the kinds of content and actions that were already unofficially prohibited. These include racism, the publishing of personally identifying information such as someone’s phone number and hate group propaganda.
“By combining the power of humans and machine learning, AutoMod takes things a step further. For the first time ever, we’re empowering all of our creators to establish a reliable baseline for acceptable language and around the clock chat moderation.”
Ryan Kennedy, Lead Moderator, Twitch
A new tool has already been introduced to help streamers moderate chat on their streams to ensure they are not enabling abuse during broadcasts. The new AutoMod tool allows streamers to automatically block out abusive comments before they appear on the stream. Streamers can use AutoMod to detect specific types of offensive speech, tailoring the tone of conversation to suit their style of broadcast.
Many streamers are able to earn money from Twitch, with some making more than $1 million each year through subscriptions, donations and sponsorships. Twitch are hoping the new changes will encourage a more ‘workplace-style’ approach for streamers as they consider what comments might amount to harassment.
Twitch’s latest efforts to combat abuse and harassment come as a timely intervention just as the platform experienced a huge rise in users during 2020 following the pandemic-related lockdown with user numbers reaching 26.5m per day compared to daily figures of 17.5m in 2019.
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