In August, Twitch announced that they would be rolling out a new "channel-level ban evasion detection and account verification improvements," following the significant protests and outcry received from the broader Twitch community against "hate raids" and botting targeting marginalized groups on the platform.
Twitch introduces a new verification feature for chat
According to Zach Bussey's Twitter post on 26th September, it was revealed that "Twitch will soon be giving streamers better control over who can chat in their channels based on email and/or phone verification."
Bussey expanded on this by saying that Twitch streamers would be able to enable email or mobile phone number verification for all chatters, with additional customisation and situation restrictions, including:
- If the users are chatting for the first time;
- If the user's account is not aged for a defined period of time (i.e. for x minutes, hours, days or weeks);
- If the account only followed the streamer within a defined period of time (i.e. the last x minutes, hours, days or weeks.
In addition to this, Bussey indicated that streamers would be able to add exemptions for subscribers, VIPs and mods. We've included a screenshot of how this new system will work, which you can see below.
Ultimately, this new feature has been positively received by members of the Twitch community, based on the accounts of many critics across Twitter and Reddit.
One Twitter user suggested that Twitch should "take away the ability to host and raid if you're not at least affiliated. While this could arguably strengthen the new verification feature, it may also stifle the ability of smaller creators to engage and network with other streamers on the platform."
Bussey proposed a potential solution by having Twitch include this as an option. "Allow all raids / Allow raids from affiliates / Only allow raids from my allow list," he said.
Ultimately, just like this - having it as an option makes sense. "Allow all raids/Allow raids from affiliates/Only allow raids from my allow list," etc.— Zach Bussey (@zachbussey) September 26, 2021
While the majority of feedback has been rather positive, there are still a few users that remain sceptical on whether this feature will attenuate hate raids on the platform.
One Reddit user, Supremagorious, indicated that the reality of the feature having any meaningful effect would be for Twitch to require phone verification forever. "Without that, bot accounts will just be created in advance by slapping a number or two on the viewer list from some Twitch presents stream or large stream," they said.
Supremagorious continued by adding, "As a direct consequence the broadcasters who get targeted will have to turn their restrictions way up and will experience reduced growth as a consequence."
At present, the new feature is still in a "limited testing" phase and has not been rolled out globally just yet. Nevertheless, this does (at the very least) appear to be a step in the right direction.
We will endeavour to keep you updated on further developments regarding this new feature rollout by Twitch.
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Featured image courtesy of Twitch.