Online safety has been a big issue for many years but came to a head in 2020. The Covid-19 pandemic saw a greater number of people interacting online as never before, and this has led to a number of key online companies looking at ways to improve online safety for their users.
To that end, Twitch has released “Keeping Our Community Safe: Twitch 2020 Transparency Report” which details the actions that the company has taken over the course of the years to improve the safety and thereby the general experience for its users.
First Of Its Kind
The report is the first of its kind produced by Twitch and its aims are to take “a hard look at how we think about safety”.
The move is a brave one for Twitch as it gives a clear indication of how accountable the company is for preserving the security of its customers. An issue which has been downplayed and even ignored by some big-name tech companies in the past.
The company aims to produce two Transparency Reports each year so that the progress the company is making in keeping its customers safe can be tracked.
In addition, the report also serves as a useful informative tool for Twitch customers who can see clearly the steps and decisions made by the company in order to maintain and improve levels of safety when using the Twitch service.
Crucial Time For Release
The timing of the report could not be better. As the company itself notes in its press release for the report:
“Twitch experienced tremendous growth over the course of 2020, including a 40% increase in the total number of channels that went live from the first half of the year to the second. This growth in channels was accompanied by a growth in viewership and engagement, including a 33% increase in chat messages sent across Twitch.”
Of course, on the back of such substantial growth, Twitch also saw the total number of actions it had to take to enforce safety and reports made about safety issues also increase too.
What Has Twitch Done To Improve Safety?
While the report details a number of different ways that Twitch has tried to improve safety for its customers, some of the most apparent include:
- Improving moderation by launching Mod View which allows moderators to take action on their channels easily.
- Improved Offensive Username detection which blocked three times the number of offensive usernames this year compared to the last.
- Proactive detection saw a 70% reduction in whisper spam.
- Suspension of phishing streams and increased the number of suspensions handed out for individuals engaged in this activity.
- Improved feedback for community members that file reports.
- Improved reporting on violations so people can understand what was offensive and how to avoid repeating it.
- Creation of the Twitch Safety Advisory Council in May 2020 comprising of online safety experts and Twitch creators to provide feedback to shape company policy and development of products.
- Clearer community guidelines published designed to be clearer about what is acceptable and what is not. A new Harassment policy, for example, was released in December.
The Transparency Report is available to read in full via Twitch TV.