Twitch introduces new Shield Mode to help protect streamers from “hate raids”

Twitch shield mode headerTwitch

Twitch’s new Shield Mode feature will help combat unwarranted and damaging actions made on the platform, protecting content creators when streaming from “hate raids” and other forms of harassment.

As a platform, Twitch often finds itself at the center of controversy when it comes to its most popular content creators feeling unsafe on the platform, or smaller stars being subjected to hate raids.

Hate raids are when a large group of people, often encouraged by a ringleader either on or off Twitch, enter a streamer’s chat and begin making inappropriate comments. In particular, streamers who identity within the LGBTQIA+ community have been subjected to an increase in hate raids this past year.

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As a way to combat this issue further, Twitch plans to introduce a new feature, Shield Mode, starting December 1.

In the announcement, Twitch explains how Shield Mode’s “real power comes from the way it combines and levels up existing safety tools in one place.

“With Shield Mode, you can pre-set multiple safety settings that can be activated with a push of a button whenever higher protections may be necessary.”

As stating in the blog post, Bulk Ban will allow content creators to “mass ban all users” who use specific terms of phrases that the streamer has specified as inappropriate or not suitable to use during their streams. This feature can be accessed in the “Terms and Phrases” tab. When the word or phrase that has been specified is used in chat, the viewer will be automatically banned.

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Streamers can always unban viewers in the “banned chatters” tab if they decide they want to allow them back into the conversation.

“Banned terms and phrases will reset after every Shield Mode session, so your community isn’t accidentally impacted by older terms that are no longer being used maliciously.”

The feature isn’t at 100% functionality either, noting “at launch, you will need to file individual reports for each banned user — but we’re actively exploring how we can make that process easier in future updates.”

Purple streaming set up with Twitch logoUnsplash: Akin Cakiner / Twitch
Twitch has faced criticism across 2022 for not doing enough to combat “hate raids”. Shield Mode looks to change that.

The second feature to be brought in with Twitch’s Shield Mode is blocking first-time chatters from interacting with specific streams.

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When a content creator chooses to enable Shield Mode, chatters can only take part if they have watched the streamer’s previous content. This minimizes the risk of hateful comments or new viewers coming in and participating in hate raids, an issue that has gotten increasingly worse on the platform. 

Twitch hopes this will help content creators to “thrive and safely build [their] community in the long term by letting you keep safety settings more relaxed when things are calm.”