Twitch is aware of the threats. A Twitch spokeswoman said the company plans to host a live streaming session in the coming months that will educate streamers about the real risks. In recent years, the company has stepped up its efforts to secure the platform, Mr. Verrilli, Product Manager. He noted, for example, a change the site made to hide personal contact information on the Twitch settings page so that streamers who share their computer screens can’t accidentally reveal their address or phone number.
Angela Hession, Twitch’s vice president of global trust and security, said her team has kept creators up to date on “how to protect yourself both on and off Twitch,” including suggesting security center with tips for preventing doxing, slapping and stalking. Mrs. Hession said Twitch tried to create a “safe environment” but was limited in what it could do to help. For example, it cannot release identifying information about a potential stalker unless the company receives a valid request from law enforcement. The Twitch team responsible for communicating with law enforcement and informing them of threats on the platform has quadrupled in size over the past two years.
Last year the company announced it will start holding users accountable for misbehavior that happened “off duty”, saying it’s a new approach for the industry. If a Twitch user is found to have caused “egregious harm in the real world,” the company says, the user could be denied access to the platform.
According to Mia Consalvo, a professor at Concordia University in Montreal who studies video games and Twitch, Twitch must balance the fine line between protecting streamers from rebellious fans and encouraging the kind of interaction that keeps the platform alive and makes money.
“They want to stop the most egregious harassment because it will push people away from the stream and the channel, but they don’t want to suppress too much because they don’t want to drive away too many people, too many viewers,” the doctor said. Consalvo said.
In 2020 Twitch has expanded its definition of aggressive behavior and recognized that some authors, especially minorities, “experience a disproportionate amount of harassment and abuse online”. Last summer, the #TwitchDoBetter hashtag began circulating on social media after black and LGBT streamers said they were the target of so-called hate raids, in which automated bot accounts spat their chats with racist and discriminatory epithets.