Twitch adds Phone Verification chat filter in latest attempt to curb hate raids

Source: Twitch

Twitch announced on Thursday that they are introducing a brand new tool for creators, that will allow streamers and mods to filter stream chats to only users who have been verified by phone or email. It is the live-streaming platform's latest attempt to help creators moderate their streams and protect themselves from the hate raid bots that have been terrorizing many small and medium-sized streamers in recent months.

 

"Today, we’re updating our suite of moderation tools by adding phone-verified chat and expanding the settings for email verification, to help Creators better control their chat experience and improve security," Twitch explained in a blog. "This will be available to all Creators starting today, and can be accessed from your Creator Dashboard. 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."

 

The new tool follows the #DayOffTwitch protest that took place earlier this month, in which numerous creators took a day off streaming on Twitch in an attempt to draw attention to the abusive hate raids taking place across the platform. While hateful people have long existed on the internet, Twitch's hate raids use bots to flood streamers with messages of bigotry and hatred using hundreds or thousands of bot accounts and Twitch's stream raid tool.

 

While phone-verification may not prevent all bot-raids going forward, it is an extra barrier that will at the very least make hate raiding harder to do on a large scale.

 

"Botting is a longstanding, internet-wide problem that will never have an 100% success rate – this added layer of account verification will certainly make it harder for malicious actors to spam-bot your chat en masse," Twitch explained in a FAQ question. "No single tech solution will ever block bad actors’ behavior entirely, but this new hurdle will work within our constantly evolving suite of technologies and tooling, to slow them down considerably and reduce the number of channels they can impact."

 

Twitch also unveiled a lawsuit against two alleged Hate Raiders on Sept. 10th, showing that they are also committed to taking legal action against those that violate their terms of service to spew hate and abuse at their creators. 

 

How to enable phone verification on your stream

  • For Streamers, phone verification can be turned on through Dashboard -> Settings -> Moderation.
  • For Mods of streamers, it can be turned on via Chat -> Manage Moderation Settings.

Just like with other chat filters, you can set a few different options to customize the filter. You can have it enabled for all chatters, first-time chatters, or chatters with a certain age of account. You can also exempt specific individuals, subs, or moderators if you wish.

How to set up phone verification for users

For users who want to chat in a stream that requires phone verification, setting it up isn't too difficult. In a stream with phone-verification on, you will be prompted to verify your account. Simply will respond to the verification prompt with your phone number and/or email to verify your account. Note that you can only do phone verification with a cell phone, so if you have a landline (for some reason) it won't work.

 

Be aware, while you can verify five accounts on one number, if one of those accounts is banned, the verification for the other accounts on that number will be suspended.

 

 

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