After a year of struggling to protect its users from abuse and harassment, Twitch has of its security efforts in 2021, which includes an overview of how the company plans to address the issue in 2022. Specifically, Angela Hession, Twitch’s vice president of global trust and security, said that the company would update its user reporting and appeal process.
It also plans to upgrade its functionality. The AI tool, which the company launched late last year, automatically flags people it believes may be repeat offenders. In 2022, Twitch has updates on how streamers can use the information in this tool. As the company previously reported, it also plans to update its sexual content policy to clarify various aspects of it. Twitch simultaneously intends to share more and “better” educational content in its Security Hub and other areas.
Twitch spent much of the second half of 2021 trying to stop automated “hate raid” harassment campaigns. The attacks saw malicious individuals use thousands of bots to spam channels with hateful language, and they frequently targeted streamers from marginalized communities. In September, the company sued CruzzControl and CreatineOverdose, two of the most prolific individuals involved in these campaigns.
“We will probably never be able to eliminate [hate raids] entirely, ”Hession said. However, she claims that Twitch “significantly” reduced the number of bots on its platform thanks to some of its actions in 2021. In 2022, it looks to continue that work thanks to the improvements it announced today.
If the company’s security roadmap seems light on the details, Hession says it’s out of necessity. “The honest and unfortunate reality is that we can’t always be precise because bad actors can and have used this transparency in an attempt to thwart our efforts,” she said.
At the same time, the executive acknowledged that Twitch needs to do a better job communicating what it does to make people feel safe on its platform. It’s easy to see why the company would say this. When it looked like the hate raids happening on Twitch couldn’t get any worse, many creators banded together over the lack of action they saw from the company.
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