Twitch Enhances Anti-Harassment Measures By Blocking Banned Users From Streaming


Twitch, the popular streaming platform, has introduced new anti-harassment features that allow streamers to prevent banned users from watching their streams. This update comes as a response to the platform’s ongoing efforts to address the issue of harassment within the Twitch community.

Key Takeaway

Twitch now allows streamers to prevent banned users from watching their livestreams. This feature aims to tackle the ongoing problem of harassment within the Twitch community and grants streamers more control over their audience.

Streamers Now Have Control Over Banned Viewers

Prior to this update, streamers could block users from participating in chat but had no means of preventing them from actually watching the stream. However, with the recent update, channel owners can now activate the option to “Stop banned users from viewing stream” within the moderation settings of their Creator Dashboard.

This feature was developed based on feedback from the Twitch community. During an episode of Patch Notes, a monthly update series, Twitch Senior Product Manager Trevor Fisher acknowledged that banning unwanted viewers is an essential step in addressing the platform’s harassment issues.

Additional Features and Limitations

Twitch’s new blocking tools are integrated with this feature. If a streamer blocks a user, that user will automatically be banned from watching streams. However, this feature currently applies only to users who are logged into their Twitch accounts, and the platform does not yet support IP blocking. This means that a blocked user can still watch a stream if they log out of their account. Twitch plans to expand this feature to prevent unwanted viewers from accessing VODs, highlights, and clips in the future.

It’s important to note that the feature is not yet available to all channel owners. Twitch has mentioned in response to streamers’ queries that the rollout will occur gradually and did not specify an exact timeline.

Twitch’s Ongoing Commitment to Enhancing Safety

Twitch has been actively working on strengthening its moderation tools to create a comprehensive safety framework. Last year, the platform introduced “Ban Evasion Detection” to identify users attempting to circumvent bans. This tool utilizes machine learning to flag suspicious accounts and notify channel moderators. Additionally, Twitch introduced banned list swaps, enabling channels to exchange lists of banned users. By accepting another channel’s list, all users on that list are automatically restricted. Moderators can also manually monitor or approve banned users from other channels.

Marginalized communities, such as Black and trans streamers, are particularly vulnerable to targeted harassment on Twitch. In response to pressure from streamers, Twitch launched the #TwitchDoBetter campaign to combat hate raids, which involve inundating targeted streamers’ channels with vitriolic harassment. The platform’s Product VP, Alison Huffman, shared in an interview that Twitch has engaged in extensive discussions with moderators to understand their specific needs for safety tools. Twitch aims to provide a highly customizable set of tools to creators and their moderators, empowering them to tailor their safety measures according to their requirements.

Twitch’s commitment to addressing the issue of harassment is an ongoing effort, recognizing that targeted harassment is a prevalent and complex problem both on and offline. By continually developing and refining its safety tools, Twitch aims to create a safer environment for its community.

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