Streamers may require phone verification to use chat.
Twitch is reportedly preparing to introduce a range of new features designed to help address the increasingly prevalent phenomenon of hate forays, including the ability for streamers to restrict chat comments to those users whose accounts have passed through phone verification.
Controversial from Twitch raid feature was originally designed as a positive community tool that would allow streamers to redirect all viewers currently viewing their broadcast to a destination channel as an “easy way to share audiences.” However, malicious users quickly began exploiting the feature, setting up rogue accounts and bots to flood the chats of often marginalized streamers and subject them to doxing, harassment, and attack.
Despite Twitch admitting that it needed to “do more to address these issues,” many streamers were unhappy with what they saw as an ongoing lack of meaningful response from the company, leading to a successful 24 hour protest last month. Now, however, Twitch is reportedly preparing to implement new security features designed to combat hate forays.
Here is a screenshot in English of the current implementation. (My original source did not provide a screenshot because it is ‘subject to change’). pic.twitter.com/Cf4DRjc37b
– Zach Bussey (@zachbussey) September 26, 2021
These customization tools, discovered by reporter Zach Bussey and German Serpentine Dragon (via Kotaku), aim to give broadcasters better control over their channels by allowing them to specify exactly who gets chat privileges, restricting access (with more granular options available) to viewers who have verified an email address or, if they prefer it, a phone number with Twitch.
As Kotaku notes, broadcasters have previously expressed a preference for phone verification as a means to combat hate raids, given the ease with which alternate email addresses can be acquired to quickly create new accounts and continue the harassment. Hopefully, the new Twitch tools will provide a more effective layer of security against malicious attacks.
Twitch recently took legal action against two people identified himself as persistent hateful assailants in an attempt to “help stop these vile attacks against members of our community.”