Twitch adds phone verification for chat to curb harassment

It's about to get a lot harder to troll.

Oscar Gonzalez Former staff reporter
Oscar Gonzalez is a Texas native who covered video games, conspiracy theories, misinformation and cryptocurrency.
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Twitch chat is about to get cleaned up

Twitch chat is about to get cleaned up.

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Twitch streamers who were regularly harassed in their chats held a protest on Sept. 1, calling for the Amazon-owned streaming platform to implement more tools to stop trolling. The company revealed Wednesday it's adding verification to chats that could help stop harassers. 

Phone and email verification for Twitch chatters are now available for streamers and their moderators. Users who have multiple accounts tied to one phone number will have all their accounts suspended if just one of them is suspended, a move to avoid ban evasions. Banned Twitch users will also be unable to verify more accounts with that same number if there is an active suspension tied to it. 

"We've spent many months building, testing and refining this tool," the company said Wednesday. "While this is far from the last update on our roadmap to improve Creator safety, we're optimistic about the impact it can have in making a safer Twitch."

Verified chat is turned off by default, but once turned on, streamers can decide what accounts will need to be verified, whether it's all accounts or brand new accounts. Streamers will also be able to exempt people such as subscribers, moderators and VIPs. 

Harassment has always been a problem with Twitch, but in recent months, a new form of harassment developed called "hate raids." This is when trolls target a certain streamer and use a swarm of bots to fill the channel's chat with expletives and slurs.