Twitch’s chat ban tools have been around for ages, but the platform is about to hand streamers a way to control who can watch a stream to begin with, TechCrunch reported.
According to TechCrunch, in Twitch’s latest episode of Patch Notes its monthly product update show, the company announced that it would soon let streamers block banned users from watching streams. If moderators or streamers enable the feature, banned users will be booted not only out of chat but out of a livestream itself in real time.
When it rolls out within the next few weeks, the new anti-harassment feature will also become a built-in part of Twitch’s blocking tools, with blocked users automatically prevented from viewing a stream.
TechCrunch also reported that when dealing with banned users, the feature won’t be enabled by default, but streamers will be able to toggle the option within moderation settings. In the Patch Notes stream, Twitch Senior Product Manager Trevor Fisher explained that the long-requested safety addition is a first step towards what could be a more robust solution down the road.
Engadget reported that the new blocking feature will roll out in the next few weeks.
According to Engadget, Senior Product Manager Trevor Fisher stated: “The way that it will work is if you ban somebody and they’re currently watching, then the stream playback will be interrupted for them so that they immediately lose the ability to view the stream,” he explained. “And then if you go offline, you stream again, they won’t be able to watch your subsequent streams either until you choose to un-ban them.” He said it would have the same effect regardless of whether the streamer or a moderator bans someone: That person can’t watch your streams until they’re unblocked.
That said, Engadget reported that there is one significant limitation to the new feature that it only applies to logged-in users. Anyone viewing a stream while logged out of their account can still watch it. Twitch isn’t blocking IP addresses (at least for now), which leaves room for the noteworthy exception.
Gizmodo reported that users who get hit with a ban will be immediately removed from viewing the video stream, and they will be blocked from watching any future stream. It won’t stop users from watching VODs, highlights, or clips, but Twitch product manager Trevor Fisher said they’re planning to add that functionality in a future update. He also mentioned that currently, banned users are banned from streamers’ followers list.
Personally, I think it is an excellent idea for Twitch to make it harder for terrible humans to pop into someone’s stream to specifically harass the streamer. It makes more work for moderators, and the streamer, who aren’t there to allow a toxic environment to brew in their chat.
Sure, a banned person could watch the streamer’s VODs. That won’t enable them to interact directly with the streamer they want to harass, or to bother anyone in the streamer’s chat. I suspect the bad people will get bored when they realize they no longer have a way to chat (or harass) people on Twitch.