As Twitch has become more and more popular over the years, that has inevitably meant a rise in trolls and bad actors, too. In order to deal with the issue, Twitch is getting creative with its latest tool: Shared Ban Info.
Announced on Thursday, the feature sounds exactly like it’s titled. Twitch streamers will now be able to share what accounts they’ve banned from their channel’s live chat with other fellow streamers.
According to Twitch, Shared Ban Info requires recipient accounts to first approve the request. After that, Twitch will then show each streamer’s list of banned users to both accounts. Twitch says that a user can currently share their channel’s ban list with up to 30 other streamers.
If a user appears on a streamer’s shared banned list, they will still be able to interact in the other streamer’s live chat. However, Twitch will warn that streamer that the individual is a known flagged account. From there, the streamer can decide to take action and ban them, or mark them as trusted.
— Zach Bussey (@zachbussey) June 30, 2022
The move appears to encourage specific Twitch communities to take platform moderation into their own hands instead of relying on the company to take action against abusive accounts.
In a FAQ for the feature, Twitch answers the question as to why it wouldn’t just ban a “serial harasser” outright and instead let this feature deal with the user.
“Rather than making decisions on your behalf, our goal with this tool is to provide you with the information you need to make informed and personalized decisions about who can participate in your community. We want to strike a balance between protecting streamers from harassers while still giving streamers control over who is allowed to participate in their communities. You’re the expert when it comes to your community, and you should make the final call on who can participate.”
Twitch’s views on moderation here make sense in certain cases, as long as the company strikes a balance with those who clearly break the platform’s rules. Last year, the company launched a tool in a similar vein called Suspicious User Detection that helps streamers detect users that are trying to evade a ban.
In the announcement post for the feature, Twitch admits that these features won’t stop “hate raids” outright. Hate raids have become a growing issue on the platform where specific streamers are targeted for harassment using Twitch’s “raid” feature, which automatically sends viewers from one channel to another. Obviously, though, this tool can especially help in niche streamer communities that share a common audience.
And Twitch also answers what might be the most important question: Can you exempt fans of your channel whom you ban from the chat as a joke from the Shared Ban Info feature? The answer, by the way, is no.