Does Twitch Fame have to come with a stalker?

Twitch does not ignore threats. A Twitch spokeswoman said the company plans to livestream a session in the coming months that will educate streamers about the real risks. In recent years, it has stepped up its efforts to build security into the platform, said Mr. Verrilli, the product manager. He noted, for example, a change made by the site to hide personal contact information on Twitch’s settings page, so that streamers sharing their computer screens don’t accidentally expose their address or phone number. .

Angela Hession, vice president of global trust and safety at Twitch, said her team keeps creators up to date on “how to protect themselves, both on Twitch and off,” including offering a safety hub. with tips for preventing doxxing, swatting and harassment. Ms Hession said Twitch had tried to create “a safe environment”, but was limited in what it could do to help. It cannot, for example, release identifying information about a potential stalker unless the company receives a valid request from law enforcement. Twitch’s team responsible for corresponding with law enforcement and notifying them of threats made on the platform has quadrupled in the past two years.

Last year, the company announced it would start holding users accountable for misconduct that occurred “out of service”, saying it was a new approach for the industry. If it is determined that a Twitch user has committed “gross real-world harm,” according to the company, the user can be banned from the platform.

Twitch must distinguish between protecting streamers from unruly fans and encouraging the kind of interaction that fuels the platform and makes money, said Mia Consalvo, a professor at Concordia University in Montreal who studies video games. and Twitch.

“They want to end the most egregious harassment because it’s going to drive people away from the stream and the channel, but they don’t want to get too tough because they don’t want to drive away too many people, too many viewers,” said the Dr Consalvo.

In 2020, Twitch expanded its definition of hateful behavior and recognized that some creators, especially minorities, “experience a disproportionate amount of harassment and abuse online.” Last summer, the hashtag #TwitchDoBetter began circulating on social media after black and LGBTQ streamers said they were the target of so-called hate raids, in which automated bot accounts spammed their chats. with racist and discriminatory epithets.

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