Popular streaming platform Twitch has promised to implement a slew of new protections for streamers following a trending Twitter hashtag request.
The tag started to trend earlier this week on Monday, Aug. 9, eventually turning into a full-blown social media campaign sparked by black queer activist and streamer, RekItRaven. In the days prior, Raven opened up to their audience about the harassment they've received due to their identity—somehow attracting a litany of trolls and bigots to spam Raven's chat with hateful messages.
These "hate raids" became the premise under which thousands of content creators united to demand the platform step up and offer them better protection. Now, Twitch has finally responded.
Twitch Commits to Platform Improvements and Streamer Protections
The platform took to its verified Twitter profile on Wednesday, Aug. 11, in order to address the trending hashtag and their response going forward. In a short thread, Twitch acknowledged the conversations circulating around the various forms of harassment targeted at marginalized creators. It stated it understood more needed to be done to protect those creators and thanked all who came forward to speak on their experiences.
"Thank you to everyone who shared these difficult experiences," it wrote in the following tweet, "We were able to identify a vulnerability in our proactive filters, and have rolled out an update to close this gap and better detect hate speech in chat."
According to Twitch, a set of "channel-level ban evasion detection and account verification improvements" will launch later this year. Unfortunately, the platform neglected to mention specifics, but this is likely for the best. The less aggressive parties know about the new measures, the less they'll be able to avoid the crackdown when it comes.
"We’re working hard to launch these tools as soon as possible, and we hope they will have a big impact." It wrote.
Twitch directed creators to its existing tools concerning user safety and what they could do upon encountering harassment. Some replied that the instruction was futile—after all, it was the failure of these measures that led to the trend in the first place. Still, others supposed, a public response is better than no response at all.
Regardless, the platform encouraged its users to voice their concerns and share feedback through its official channels. It committed to an "open and ongoing dialogue about creator safety" and promised to "keep updating this to address emerging issues" in the future.