Twitch to allow streamers to limit commenters by phone number

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Image: Twitch / Kotaku

Twitch streamers will soon be able to restrict who can or cannot chat. According to Twitch watcher Zach Bussey, the streaming giant, plans to add expanded features that would allow streamers to request verification by phone or email from the commentator.

For most of the summer, Twitch streamers have faced a scourge of “hate raids. “Thanks to the platform’s ‘foray’ feature, which allows streamers to redirect viewers to another channel, bad faith streamers can send tons of commenters to other channels in coordinated harassment campaigns. Most of these users They are presented with the worst possible intentions and often flood the channels with waves of insults and disgusting insults. The Washington Post reported that these campaigns are organized outside of Twitch, on Discord’s underground servers.

Streamers saying Kotaku that requiring users to sign up with a phone number would be one of the most effective methods of stopping hate raids, far more effective than email verification, which already exists on the platform. It’s easy to create alternate email addresses, so while requiring email verification for chat users is a hurdle, it doesn’t stop hateful forays in its tracks.

As it is now, since it’s so easy to create new accounts on Twitch, banned streamers can simply create a new account and go straight back to chat. Sometimes they do it with blatant insistence. For instance, Twitch filed a lawsuit earlier this month against two anonymous users, he claims they organized hate raids. One such user, believed to be operating under the identifier CreatineOverdose, reportedly came back with screen names such as CreatineReturns, CreatineBanEvades, and CreatineReported.

Although this user could return as a hypothetical CreatineFrakensteinsMonster, these new channel-level tools could prevent CreatineFrankensteinsMonster from commenting on specific channels.

Here’s how it’d work: Once these tools are live, if you’re a streamer, you’ll be able to require viewers to verify a phone number or an email address before leaving comments. You could make it so they’d need to do so if they’re chatting on your stream for the very first time, if their account hasn’t been active for long, or if they followed you within a specific time frame (say, a matter of hours or days). You can also set exceptions for VIPs, moderators, and subscribers.

The German streamer Dracon shared a screenshot of what those options would look like in the Twitch UI. Bussey got a screenshot also, citing an anonymous source.

It is unclear when these large-scale anti-bullying measures will be implemented, or if they are officially in the works. Twitch declined to comment. Kotaku in the registry.

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