Twitch responds to the Twitch Do Better movement with improved chat filters

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Today, Twitch made a statement announce the steps it will take to protect its marginalized streams.

“We’ve seen a lot of discussion about bottling, hate attacks and other forms of harassment targeting marginalized creators,” Twitch wrote. “You are asking us to do better, and we know we need to do more to solve these problems.”

Twitch said he identified “a vulnerability in our proactive filters and released an update to close this loophole and better detect hate speech in chat.” It also announced that it will introduce more security features in the coming weeks, including improvements to the account verification process and a ban on tax avoidance tools.

This statement is a response to the hashtag #twitchdobetter which was started by the creator of Twitch Rekitraven to raise awareness of the harassment problems experienced by black creators on the streaming platform.

“I was hated a second time a week and shared both the first and second events [on Twitter] because they were sharp rather than normal, “you’re fat, black, gay,” Raven said Limit via direct message.

(Content warning: racism)

Raiding is a popular Twitch feature that allows a streamer to send their viewer to another stream at the end of their broadcast. It is a tool to increase viewership, grow communities, and foster connections between streams and audiences. Hate attacks are the polar, toxic opposite. In hate attacks, streaming directs its viewer to another creator — often a black, strange, female, or intersection of marginalized identities — to bombard that streaming with hate speech and harassment.

Raven believes they became the target of hate attacks because they are streaming using the Black tag, new Twitch feature which allows users to categorize their streams with different tags. These tags are apparently used by content providers to categorize their streams so that interested users can better find the content they are looking for, but it also creates beacons that prevent the use of vulnerable, marginalized streams. After his experience of hate attacks, Raven found that other marginalized streamers in their community had the same experiences. And without Twitch’s word on what had been done to protect its users from such targeted violent harassment, Raven decided to start the conversation again.

“I started #TwitchDoBetter because I’m tired of having to fight for existence on a platform that says it’s diverse and inclusive, but is silent on appeals from marginalized actors who demand more protection from hostile attacks, ”Raven says.

Twitch struggles to keep toxicity off its platform. Last year, the streamer CriticalBard was forced to a a wave of racist trolls when he became the temporary face of the “pogchamp” mother. Twitch too removed TwitchCop emote amid concerns, it could be used to harass police officers talking about violence after the murder of George Floyd. In these situations and now, Twitch has responded to the needs of its users, which has led to the frustration of content providers. Perennial requests from Twitch’s marginalized actors have been better, more proactive control tools.

The tools that Twitch will deploy in this new security deployment seem to be intended only trolls using non-Latin characters bypasses chat filters, but streamers request more.

“I would like to see that content providers have more tools to manage their experiences, such as letting content providers block [recently created] conversations, [and] allows mods to accept or reject raids, ”Raven says.

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