Twitch to ban serial refunders who take advantage of streamer subs

Twitch logo on a phone screen
(Image credit: NurPhoto / Contributor)

Twitch is now starting to review subscription refunds and monitor users suspected of abusing the system. The small yet impactful change to its refund policy hopes to combat serial refunders, who subscribe to get a shoutout from the streamer and then file a refund to get their money back. Users who are caught abusing the system will incur a temporary or permanent Twitch ban.

Twitch noted that this change is being implemented to protect Twitch streamers from chargebacks, and also allow for "legitimate refunds to be handled quickly for those in your community who need them." This change will only affect purchases made through Twitch and won't cover donations and other payments through services like Streamlabs. 

Monitoring users and punishing serial refunders could make a big difference in protecting streamers—and Twitch, of course—from losing money. It's also a step in the right direction to regaining trust of content creators, many of whom recently took part in #ADayOffTwitch protest demanding more effective support for marginalized streamers.

The boycott was kicked off by a new wave of hate raids, which saw abusive streamers targeting marginalized creators and sending mobs of hateful viewers to their streams. Along with promising new moderation tools, Twitch recently filed lawsuits against two hate raiders who abused the Raid feature to harm other users. The hate raiders' identities are not currently known but both are believed to reside in Europe and have evaded Twitch bans "by creating new, alternate Twitch accounts, and continually altering their self-described 'hate raid code' to avoid detection and suspension by Twitch."