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Twitch rolls out safety updates to combat predatory behavior on the platform

Updated Jan 26th, 2023 10:05AM EST
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Image: Twitch

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Twitch says that it is rolling out a number of updates to ensure that children are not groomed on its platform.

In a blog post, the company announced a number of technology implementations to ensure that children under the age of thirteen are not able to access the streaming platform and those seeking to groom those children or exhibit any kind of predatory behavior on the platform are caught, banned, and reported.

In order to keep children who shouldn’t have access to the platform off of it, the company is blocking users permanently, introducing phone verification requirements, and improving its moderation technology:

  • Expanding the signals we use to catch and terminate accounts belonging to users under 13, as well as to block users previously suspended for being under 13 from creating new accounts. 
  • Introducing mandatory phone verification requirements before potentially vulnerable accounts are able to livestream, in order to better prevent any users under 13 who made accounts with false age information from going live and putting themselves at risk before we’re able to identify and remove their account. 
  • Continuing to refine the moderation technology that our staff use to review certain user reports, to better ensure that any reported instance involving children under 13 is prioritized and quickly actioned.

In order to protect people against predatory behavior, the company updated its default account settings to be more private, deepened its collaboration with “expert organizations,” and invested in AI tools to help uncover harmful language faster:

  • We’ve updated default privacy settings for our direct messaging feature Whispers and blocked the ability to use certain search terms or phrases to find content on Twitch. 
  • We’ve continued to deepen our collaboration with expert organizations who report to us about behavior on Twitch as well as grooming trends in the wider industry, in order to keep increasing our global capacity to monitor proactively for predatory behavior. 
  • Recently, we completed the months-long process of acquiring Spirit AI, an industry leader in AI for language processing who will support us in building more nuanced classifiers for detecting harms of all kinds in written text on Twitch. 

All of these changes are already active on the platform, and the company has committed to continuing to do more. You can learn more about everything Twitch has done so far to protect against this in the blog post.

In addition to its content moderation and safety problems, Twitch has also come under fire for changes to the amount that it pays streamers on the platform. As YouTube works to combat TikTok with YouTube Shorts, Twitch could be the next platform to come under fire by a video company looking to increase its market share in the streaming industry.

Joe Wituschek Tech News Contributor

Joe Wituschek is a Tech News Contributor for BGR.

With expertise in tech that spans over 10 years, Joe covers the technology industry's breaking news, opinion pieces and reviews.