Twitch announced today that it would be implementing a long-called-for feature that could potentially put an end to the hate raids that have been plaguing the platform. Twitch streamers and their chat moderators can now turn on phone-verified chat, which would prevent users from sending a single chat message until they verify their accounts with a phone number or email.
According to a blog post from Twitch, phone-verified chat was built to address hate raids, with the company saying: “Curbing this type of behavior is, and will continue to be, a top priority for us.” The Amazon-owned streaming platform goes on to say that phone-verified chat has been in the works for months, and has required extra “testing and refining.”
Today we're putting more power in the hands of the community, by enabling phone verified chat! Now creators and mods can require viewers to verify their account via phone number (or email) before they can chat. For more information review the blog: https://t.co/TlqCS4OzQC
— Twitch (@Twitch) September 29, 2021
Phone-verified chat can be enabled in the moderation settings of the Twitch dashboard, although creators are allowed to specify to whom it applies. For instance, a streamer could require that first-time chatters have their account verified by a phone number or email account, or apply the rule to someone who has only recently started followed them. Naturally, there’s a blanket option that requires everyone in a Twitch chat to verify their accounts before sending a single message.
The new feature, which will hopefully make a difference for streamers regardless of whether or not they’ve been harassed, arrives late to the game. Content creators on the platform have already been offered a way to keep themselves safe by streaming software comapny Streamlabs, which rolled out a Safe Mode feature at the start of September. Twitch’s inaction up until this point prompted a daylong boycott of the platform on September 1, prompting viewers and streamers alike to look for alternatives to the behemoth platform.