Twitch has unveiled new tools to help combat hate raids on its platform ahead of official artist channels.
Twitch is primarily aimed at gamers who want to watch other gamers, but it has grown in prominence for the music industry after the pandemic. Many artists turned to the platform as a way to support themselves online while in lockdown. But many ‘Twitch newbies’ weren’t ready for the amount of vitriol on the platform – especially aimed at minorities like POC and LGBTQ streamers.
Twitch raids are a platform feature to allow a creator who is signing off to direct their audience to another creator. Theoretically, a Twitch raid is something fun to receive – new viewers who may not be familiar with your personality. Malicious actors soon began exploiting the feature to launch ‘hate raids,’ setting up dummy accounts and bots to flood the chat of streamers.
Twitch streamers organized #ADayOffTwitch at the beginning of September to protest the Twitch hate raids.
Now it appears as though that protest was successful, as Twitch has released new tools to combat the misuse of its raid feature. The tools are aimed primarily at verification, giving streamers more control over who has chat privileges when joining a channel.
“Phone verified chat gives Creators finer control over who can participate in chat, by allowing them to require some or all users to verify a phone number before chatting,” Twitch says. “Together with updated, more granular email verification settings, creators will now be able to use email and phone verification in tandem to meet their specific needs.
The move comes just a few days after Twitch announced a new record label partnership with Warner Music. That deal will see official artist channels for Warner Music artists launch on the platform.
How to Access Twitch Verification Settings
The new tools are available to all creators starting today. You’ll need to access your Twitch Creator Dashboard to see the options. These chat options are disabled by default because they limit participation with the platform.
Phone and email verification can be required for all accounts, first-time chatters, chatters with newish accounts, and chatters that have followed the channel for less than a specified amount of time. Channel owners can set VIPs, Subscribers, and Moderators as exempt from verification requirements.
Twitch says users can verify up to five accounts per mobile number. To prevent ban evasion, if one associated account is suspended site-wide, no more accounts can be made using that phone number. This also works for email verified accounts, preventing spam from dummy accounts.