Twitch’s Account Verification System May Help Combat Harassment
Twitch is creating a new account verification feature to hopefully give streamers better control over who chats in their channels. Through this system, chatters will have to verify their email and/or their phone number. Hopefully, this will stop those bots that spam creates accounts from doing so (or at least, quite so easily). Streamers will have the power to require accounts that hang out in their streams to have these restrictions/verification systems in place. Whether or not it actually helps, we’ll have to see what happens when the Twitch Account Verification system takes root.
Twitch Aims to Fight Hate Raids
Hate Raids are still happening on Twitch. Even though people aren’t talking about them as much now, they haven’t actually stopped. In August, Twitch announced they were working on some changes, a new “channel-level ban evasion detection and account verification improvements.” The idea is that we, as streamers can put some blocks into place to hopefully counter the hate bots. Then, on September 26th, Zach Bussey posted on Twitter that confirmed this was coming:
“Twitch will soon be giving streamers better control over who can chat in their channels based on email and/or phone verification. Lots of customization and situational restrictions. Exemptions can be provided for Subscribers, VIPs, and Mods.”
You can also see a screenshot of what this may look like here. You can click a button to make it so that anyone who chats must have a verified email account, or that “Some Chatters”, or “No Chatters”. For the “Some Chatters”, there are further options:
- First-Time chatters in my channel must have a verified email.
- Chatters without a verified email must have accounts older than [blank].
- Chatters without a verified email must have followed for more than [blank].
This is essentially the same for Phone Verification. You can also choose who gets an exemption from this. So far, this has been positively received, since it’s definitely a step in the right direction. Not everyone is hopeful though. A Redditor, Supremagorious has some reservations about the Phone Verification system. They said that in order to make this have a meaningful effect, Twitch would have to require phone verification forever:
“Without that bot accounts will just be created in advance by slapping a number or 2 on the viewer list from some twitch presents stream or large stream. They’ll slowly follow people who may be targeted for hate raids later. Say maybe one every 9-11 minutes while broad caster is live. This shouldn’t throw red flags for a broad caster then let them sit for a few weeks/months.”
This isn’t an unreasonable fear, either. The system hasn’t been rolled out yet, but is in a “limited testing phase” right now. It’s not a terrible idea, but we’ll just have to see if people don’t just make bots with random phone numbers. Perhaps the system can check if a number is already in use/is actually a phone number. We’ll just have to see how Twitch’s Account Verification system will work, but we’re hopeful.