Twitch has removed a feature that automatically unfollowed users from a channel they were banned from, claiming it was released too early.
On November 3, Twitch users noticed that anyone permanently banned from a channel were also automatically unfollowed from it. After hours of speculation as to why this was added, the Amazon-owned platform revealed this change was intentional but implemented too early.
“While working to curb followbot abuse, a product feature was inadvertently released early. As a result, accounts that were banned in a channel were automatically removed as a follower,” Twitch said. “We’ve rolled back this change and bans should now be functioning as expected.”
Furthermore, Twitch also addressed some criticism about how the new bans and unfollows work, as many have been concerned about joke bans being much more serious.
We’ve heard your feedback about this change and the final product should address many concerns raised. We’re continuing to build, and we’ll let you know what is happening when we’re ready to launch.
— Twitch Support (@TwitchSupport) November 3, 2021
“We’ve heard your feedback about this change and the final product should address many concerns raised. We’re continuing to build, and we’ll let you know what is happening when we’re ready to launch,” they added.
It’s not clear when this feature will return, but at least we now know that Twitch will be making changes to it before it goes live.
Original story follows…
Twitch has just made a major change to how chat bans will work on channels and it might make streamers think twice before jokingly banning their viewers.
No one ever likes being banned on Twitch, whether it’s from the site itself or a stream. That said, chances are if you’re banned, there’s a reason for it, even if that reason isn’t a good one.
Unfortunately for streamers or communities with moderators who ban viewers as a joke, permanent bans are now also making viewers unfollow channels automatically.
As noted by Twitch security alert specialist Ravager, previously, broadcasters had to block a viewer to force an unfollow.
Now, a chat ban is all that suffices.
newly-discovered change: if banned from a channel you follow, that follow is removed. previously, the broadcaster would have to block you to force an unfollow. now, a simple chat ban would do. by no means does this justify a claim of mod abuse.
— Ravager (@_Ravager) November 3, 2021
It should be noted, however, that timeouts or anything that isn’t a permanent ban won’t automatically result in an unfollow.
On paper, this is a good way to get rid of trolls and remove your channel from their list. But there’s not really anything stopping them from just coming back, even if chat is hidden and they need to manually search.
Twitch community mixed on new ban change
As expected, some users took issue with the fact that joking bans will now lead to unfollows, and losing followers isn’t something an up-and-coming streamer wants on their path to partner.
As a mod who has accidentally timed out the wrong person a few times, I live on constant fear now, what if I accidentally hit the wrong button ;-;
— negitave b (@Negitave_B) November 3, 2021
“As a mod who has accidentally timed out the wrong person a few times, I live on constant fear now, what if I accidentally hit the wrong button,” a user wrote on Twitter.
“This is a problem for the joke bans and also as I was just reminded, people use channel points for that as well,” another chimed in, referring to how some streamers let viewers ban a fellow user.
This is a problem for the joke bans and also as i was just reminded, ppl use channel points for that as well. Nightmare
— Voyevoda911 (@Voyevoda911) November 3, 2021
“So maybe this is primarily for bots then guys? So if you get follow botted, we ban the bots, and they get unfollowed so that your follower count isn’t distorted,” someone else suggested, noting how follow bots and hate raids are a big issue on the site.
So maybe this is primarily for bots then guys? So if you get follow botted, we ban the bots, and they get unfollowed so that your follower count isn’t distorted. It’s good from that perspective indeed.
— Goodie😎 (@DaGoodieOne) November 3, 2021
It’s unclear why Twitch made this change and didn’t announce it publicly, but in any case, it’s definitely something streamers and viewers should be aware of going forward.