Twitch Launches a New Tool to Make Chat Safer

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Twitch chat may not be universally awful — I’ve spent my share of time in friendly, well-moderated channels — but it has a negative reputation for a reason. There’s even science to back that up. It’s enough to make anyone think twice about streaming on the service, but there’s good news: Twitch has just introduced Automod, a new tool to make chat easier to manage.

Here’s how Twitch describes the tool in its announcement:

Streamers can configure AutoMod by selecting one of four levels. These levels affect how aggressively AutoMod holds back messages under four categories: identity, sexual language, aggressive speech, and profanity.

When AutoMod flags a message, it lets the original sender know that moderators will review the message’s content before it’s sent to chat. Meanwhile the message is shown to moderators, giving them a chance to accept or reject the message.

AutoMod also uses machine learning to discover new and exciting ways of expressing hate and harassment, like combinations of emoji or clever misspellings.

If you’re a Twitch viewer, the impact of AutoMod will depend on the streamers you watch — they’ll need to choose to enable and configure it. If you’re a streamer, it could be a powerful tool to limit the potential of harassment and give you more power to moderate your channel.

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