Twitch May Add Controversial Brand Safety Score Rating for Streamers
Update: A spokesperson from Twitch has provided the following statement: “We are exploring ways to improve the experience on Twitch for viewers and creators, including efforts to better match the appropriate ads to the right communities. User privacy is critical on Twitch, and, as we refine this process, we will not pursue plans that compromise that priority. Nothing has launched yet, no personal information was shared, and we will keep our community informed of any updates along the way.”
Twitch’s Brand Safety Score could negatively impact streamers with more mature content. That’s the hypothetical, anyway. It already happens on Youtube though. Videos that aren’t “Brand Friendly” tend to get demonetized right away. Thanks to some digging by people on Twitter, Twitch’s API revealed some new strings of code. What does this do? Well, it rates the brand friendliness of a streamer’s content through a variety of factors: chat behavior, ban history, manual ratings by Twitch staff themselves, games played, automod, and other things.
What Does This Mean?
If this is more “what kinds of ads a stream can run” and not “Mature content streamer? Monetization goes right down the toilet”, that could be fine. The Twitter user tayariCS offered the screenshot that shows all of this off. In theory, this is an interesting bit of code has been added, the Twitch Brand Safety Score. But is Twitch trustworthy? But having a grade for how well someone is behaving sounds very similar to China’s “Social Credit System”.
The problem with Twitch’s Brand Safety Score is the company is not well-known for handling decisions like this well. An argument was made about people like Hassan Bokhari who worked for Twitch and used his position to attempt to curry sexual favors with Partners. How hard would it be for people to have their Brand Safety Score adjusted in a negative manner?
One of the few positives we are seeing is that this code could be used to see why people are suspended/banned. We could see within this code the reason people were banned in the first place. There’s no telling how much information will be there, but there is the possibility we could see why large-named streamers were banned in the first place. It’s doubtful they would go back and sneak why Dr Disrespect was banned though, so don’t get your hopes up.
On paper, this could be an interesting idea, but we aren’t fans of it. It sounds like the people with rowdy chats or a mature streamer filter could receive fewer opportunities for Bounties or how many ads are dropped for that person. The possibility for this to adversely affect someone’s Twitch income is pretty high. We’ll have to see what the implications for this actually are, but right now, it’s kind of a scary thought.