Streamers affected by Twitch’s new cancel request feature will only lead to more harassment

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Illustration from article titled Streamers Concerned Twitchs New Request Cancel Request Feature Will Only Lead to More Harassment

Image: Tic

Fact: No chat user in Twitch history has ever believed they were rightly banned. But generally speaking, a streamer or moderator actually banned them for a reason. Despite this, Twitch has introduced a new feature that allows viewers to appeal their bans and get a new lease on their lives by throwing obscenities or slurs in the chat. Streamers are, as you might expect, not really in love with this feature.

Tic announced the new feature on Twitter yesterday, noting that it is part of the Mod View suite of tools that allows channel moderators to approve or decline chat messages, see previous actions taken by other mods, and review the history of viewers’ discussions.

“We’ve added a widget in Mod View that lets you manage opt-out requests,” Twitch wrote. “Users banned from the channel can submit a complaint through the ‘Chat’ column, which you can view and take action on, anonymously. “

Granted, not all banned chat users are lords of abuse. Maybe a viewer didn’t read the chat rules carefully enough and then shared a spoiler or played in the back. But streamers and moderators have always greeted this news with a raised eyebrow. First and foremost, many fear that this will give stalkers another way to do their jobs via messages they can send with their opt-out requests. Marginalized streamers, in particular, have spoken out on how the feature offers another place people can go to insult them for being trans, people of color, or any number of other identities that don’t match. not at the default white value. Some even have shared images viewers who have used the N word already trying to request a ban.

“They are prohibited for a reason,  » Twitch Partner Veronica “Nikatine” Ripley wrote on Twitter, echoing the same sentiment as hundreds of like-minded streamers. “My wonderful moderators work too hard to deal with harassment after a long day of banning (many) trolls. I go never ask them to read this spam. “

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“It’s like when I block someone on Twitter to jump on their alt to keep being shit,” said Jess Brohard, Esports Host and Twitch Partner. “Only now on Twitch they don’t even need to have an alt. “

However, banned viewers can only make one request. If a streamer or moderator shoots them down, it’s over. But it’s even more work for moderators (often unpaid), and it contributes to a pre-existing model in which particularly crappy viewers worries about getting banned from all available angles. Usually this involves repeated DMs and in some cases multiple counts. These users now have these tools as well as the exclusion request function.

Some streamers and moderators are cautiously optimistic about requests to cancel bans. If nothing else, it will hopefully mean that bona fide requests are no longer spread across Twitch DMs, Twitter, emails, Discord messages, etc. But many streamers don’t ban people willy-nilly. Bans often only come after repeated delays (mostly temporary bans) and rule violations. With that in mind, some streamers have grouped together to ask Twitch to let them manually disable the feature.

“There is racism, harassment, homophobia, sexism, etc. [on] Twitch, ”wrote a moderator on the official Twitch feature suggestion forum. “Your new sophisticated functionality gives [those] kind[s] of people a platform to go a second time on harassing, insulting or even threatening streamers and moderators. And with all seriousness: there must be an option to disable this! “

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