Safeguarding the Community: Twitch Transparency Report 2020

This is an important step in its commitment to improving security; two transparency reports will be published per year.

To ensure that Twitch is a place where everyone can connect and create together, creators and their communities must feel safe on the service. Community safety is very important to Twith, and they are committed to safeguarding it properly. To that end, in recent years, they have increased their investment and attention to product, policy and operational security.

The creation of a Transparency Report is an important measure within their commitment, and requires them to be honest about the obstacles they face and the steps they take to resolve them and improve security at Twitch. Going forward, Twitch will publish two transparency reports a year to track their progress as a community. They also have a responsibility to help the community understand the work they do to make Twitch a safe and inclusive place for their diverse global community.

Twitch experienced tremendous growth over the course of 2020, including a 40% increase in the total number of channels streaming live from the first half of the year to the second half. The growth in channels was accompanied by an increase in viewership and engagement, which includes a 33% increase in chat messages across Twitch. Given this significant growth, it is not surprising that they have seen a corresponding increase in the total volume of complaints and subsequent penalties applied across all complaint categories.

The growth is only part of the story. The increase in sanctions was also a result of the improvements they made to their operational capacity to ensure they were prepared to meet the demands of a growing community. In the last year alone, they quadrupled the number of moderation team members available to review and respond to user complaints, resulting in a 96% reduction in the average response time for complaints. The increase in safety and security measures is also attributed to the fact that individual channels stepped up their moderation efforts over the course of 2020. Channel owners took decisive steps to maintain their community standards through increased use of the tools offered by the platform, such as AutoMod and Moderator View, and also by assigning live moderators.

The actions taken in relation to user complaints reflect the hard work of Twitch’s creators and moderators, the internal security team and the investment that has been made to create products and features that support their work. In 2020, several enhancements to security solutions and tools are promised, including:

Moderation

They will invest in the moderator community by launching Moderator View, a highly customizable space for the tools moderators use to take action on their channels, and which saw a significant increase in moderation coverage across Twitch.

To the Moderator View, remove ban requests will be added to help moderators manage and optimize ban appeals at the channel level.

Machine Learning

This year, the offensive username detection model blocked three times as many offensive usernames compared to the previous year.

Proactive detection also helped combat “whisper” spam, and resulted in a 70% decrease in complaints related to this practice from the first to the second half of the year.

Phishing streams will be cracked down on and suspensions of accounts involved in this activity will be increased.

Transparency with the community

Feedback will be incorporated for community members who make reports, including confirmation when the report is received and notification if action is taken.

Compliance notifications will be updated to include more details about the offending content to ensure they understand the violation and how to prevent a recurrence.

The Twitch Safety Advisory Council, an eight-member advisory body comprised of online safety experts and Twitch creators, is created. Since its inception, council members have provided valuable feedback, which has helped shape its policy and product development.

The Community Guidelines are updated to be clearer and more explicit, including clarifications to policies around suspension evasion and Drops collection. Significant revisions are also made to the policies on nudity and attire and incitement to hate and harassment.

Safety is not the end goal, so while Twitch are proud of what has been achieved, they are aware that there is always more work ahead. They hope to incorporate a number of security updates in the coming months, including new moderation tools, machine learning models and policy updates that will improve the security experience on Twitch.

This report is the first of its kind for Twitch, so they promise to be very attentive to the feedback they receive to learn how they can refine these reports going forward. Above all, they want to make sure they provide a detailed picture of security on Twitch to show their progress and commitment to keep improving over time.

Twitch are aware that this report will possibly raise questions from the community, and they plan to answer them in a live stream of the Creators School. They will add subtitles to the VOD in Brazilian Portuguese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Spanish and Traditional Chinese. They will be available within 1 to 2 weeks. Until then, comments can be made through UserVoice.

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