Twitch issues update on how it’s tackling child grooming

A child beside the Twitch logo.

A child beside the Twitch logo.

While a lot of the discourse surrounding the technical practicalities of Twitch this year has focused on the revenue split it offers creators and how it treats on-stream gambling, the platform has also been working to improve how it handles the possibility of child grooming.

Following a September report by Bloomberg into how predators can use Twitch to target children live streaming on it, the platform issued a response detailing how it approaches tackling the issue.

Now, it’s provided an update to this response, detailing some of the exact measures it’s taking to help combat the issue.

Twitch hopes changes including mandatory phone verification and improvement of moderation will help to combat predators

In the updated blog post, Twitch states: “These predators are not welcome and will not be tolerated on Twitch, and today we’re sharing an update regarding the continuous work we’re doing to combat them.”

In terms of what this work entails, the platform acknowledges that “There is no single fix to prevent predation.”, but emphasises that one avenue it’s focusing on is simply preventing children under 13 from creating and maintaining Twitch accounts.

In order to help make this more difficult, the platform is “introducing mandatory phone verification requirements” designed to prevent accounts created by children using false age information from going live before they can be identified by moderators, as well as working to improve the systems and technology used to moderate incidents potentially involving underage users.

Another strategy Twitch is employing focuses on stopping predators from being able to find underage users, with some search terms having been blocked and an update having been issued to the privacy settings of the platform’s direct messaging system, called Whispers.

Twitch is also hopeful that the recent acquisition of Spirit AI will help it improve its language processing and that additional collaboration with “expert organisations” on identifying “grooming trends” will prove fruitful.

The platform also emphasises that tackling online predators will continue to be a priority for it going forwards, emphasising that it treats any incidents involving grooming as having the potential to cause “imminent harm”.

It concludes by stressing: “We urge anyone with information about grooming on Twitch to share it with us so we can protect the children involved, remove the predators and their networks, and report them when possible to law enforcement bodies who can hold them accountable in the real world.”

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