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Twitch might be implementing new chat options to curb abuse for streamers

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(Image credit: MARTIN BUREAU via Getty Images)

It looks like Twitch is set to introduce new chat options for streamers in an attempt to squash the recent rise in hate raids.

According to screenshots from Zach Bussey, a journalist specialising in streamers, and streamer DraconTV, creators will soon be able to toggle what level of verification users need to chat in their streams (thanks, Kotaku). Currently, there's one option for email verification, but the new settings will allow streamers to require either email or mobile verification.

These options can also be customised, being able to either do a blanket verification for every chatter or adjust verification requirements based on account age, how long they've been following the streamer or if it's their first time chatting on somebody's stream. Exemptions can also be made for subscribers, VIPs and moderators.

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The potential changes come in the wake of the recent spike in hate raids, organised attacks mostly focused on minority streamers. Bots flood streamers' chats, spewing racial, sexist or other slurs and obscenities. While chat filters can negate it somewhat, it's still an incredibly easy tool for these bots to circumvent.

The hate raids and an initially slow response from the platform spawned the #ADayOffTwitch protest, which saw numerous creators abstain from streaming on September 1. Thanks to combined efforts from smaller streamers and household names like HasanAbi and Kaceytron, Twitch saw a significant drop in viewership that day. The platform later went ahead and file a lawsuit against two "highly motivated" perpetrators of hate raids, believed to be European users known as CruzzControl and CreatineOverdose.

Mobile verification was a major suggestion amongst streamers and reports during the peak of these raids, and it's come as a pleasant surprise to many that the platform is possibly making steps to implement it. Streamers like Limmy called the potential changes "very very good," with Cohh Carnage calling them "solid options for having more control over our chats."

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It doesn't mean the new solutions will be perfect, however. Phone verification can draw a tricky line between security for streamers and privacy for users, and is a detail some don't like giving out online. Others, like Michele Boyd, feel that Twitch is still putting the onus on streamers to lock themselves down from abuse.

The biggest sentiment does seem to be that it's still a step in the right direction, though. Anything that creates a safer, more comfortable environment for streamers and their chat can only be a good thing. While it's not a perfect solution, it shows that Twitch is at least trying to get it right—hopefully, it works.

Mollie Taylor

A fresh writer in the industry, Mollie has been taken under PC Gamer's RGB-laden wing, making sure she doesn't get up to too much mischief on the site. She's not quite sure what a Command & Conquer is, but she can rattle on for hours about all the obscure rhythm games and strange MMOs from the 2000s. She's been cooking up all manner of news, previews and features while she's been here, but especially enjoys when she gets to write about Final Fantasy, Persona, The Sims, and whatever other game she's currently hopelessly fixated on. There's a good chance she's boring another PC Gamer writer about her latest obsession as we speak.