Twitch removed over 15m bot accounts last year - and the numbers are growing.
In an open letter, VP of Global Trust and Safety Angela Hession discussed progress against hate raids on the platform as well as other safety concerns.
Hate raids have been a long term problem on Twitch, but were particularly prevalent in 2021 against streamers from marginalised communities.
"[In the past 12 months] our community experienced some of the most vicious attacks ever seen against streamers - particularly streamers of colour, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, and military veterans," says Hession. "This kind of behaviour has no place on Twitch and we know there's more we can do to protect our community
"The targeted attacks known more widely as 'hate raids' were unacceptable. No one should have to experience that kind of treatment on Twitch, or anywhere for that matter. As we've said before, these were orchestrated by highly determined bad actors, but their effort doesn't excuse what happened, or how long it continued."
Although it's unlikely Twitch will be able to eliminate bot attacks entirely, it's working proactively to remove bot accounts from the platform.
"Our work in this space is not over," says Hession. "We're continuing to work on sitewide proactive detection updates, as well as pursuing legal action against individuals who carried out many of the attacks.
"Your feedback around these raids has been an important factor in how we decide what to do next, so as always, keep it coming."
Twitch has made progress in the past year to improve safety on the platform. In particular, it's launched an industry-first Off-Service Conduct Policy to protect streamers from harm off Twitch; Phone Verified Chat to restrict chat privileges to users with a verified phone number on their account; and Suspicious User Detection to detect those evading channel bans.
A top priority for Hession in 2022 is improving transparency with Twitch users, while preventing "bad actors" using that information to thwart security efforts.
The focus will be on:
- Improvements to the user reporting and appeals process
- Updates to how Creators can use the information from Suspicious User Detection
- Updates to the sexual content policy
- Updates about the Safety Advisory Council, which are inspired by user feedback
- More and better educational content and programming on the Safety Centre, live streams, and more
"We'll work even harder in 2022 to build upon that trust and make sure Twitch stays the best place online to build your community," says Hession.