Twitch continues to build on preventive measures against child predators on the platform, updating its policy to include mandatory phone verification for what it called “vulnerable accounts”, among other steps to keep children under 13 safe and off the site , as they are prohibited from using Twitch under existing policies.
“Keeping people safe online requires an ever-evolving approach. This is true for our big picture for safety on Twitch, but it’s especially true for a topic like child predation, where the potential damage is so dire and unspeakable,” Twitch said in its update. Today.
The update comes two months after Twitch initially highlighted the methods it used to combat predation. The changes came in response to a September Bloomberg report which investigated the blatant ways in which child predators engaged the site to view and manipulate children who were live streaming, despite Twitch technically not allowing anyone under the age of 13 to use the site. Under Twitch’s rules, children between the ages of 14 and 17 are allowed to stream and create an account on the site.
Bloomberg’s coverage noted numerous instances of dozens or hundreds of viewers watching underage children and encouraging them to perform various tasks or actions in the chat. Through an investigator, Bloomberg was able to verify 1,976 accounts that tracked countless children, with the report saying the site discovered even more accounts not cataloged by the investigator.
At the time, Twitch said it would “continue to aggressively expand its staff, technologies, industry relationships and internal processes” to prevent children under 13 from using the site and to prevent predators from exploiting anyone coming through the cracks. has slipped. Now the platform has further explained what it is doing to prevent the problem from getting bigger.
Twitch clarified that “there is no single solution to prevent predation,” adding that it couldn’t share all of its methods “to prevent bad actors from getting information they could use to evade our efforts.” But as of now, the site is implementing mandatory phone verification requirements “Before potentially vulnerable accounts can livestream,” plus blocking users previously suspended for being underage from creating new accounts. Twitch also said it is “continuing to refine the moderation technology” used by staff to review reports.
The default privacy settings for whispers have been changed, certain search terms to find streams have been blocked, and Twitch has acquired artificial intelligence Spirit AI for language processing to help “build more nuanced classifications for detecting all kinds of damage in written text on Twitch.” These changes have all taken place in the past two months, with the site continuing to work on preventative measures.
Twitch classifies child predation as “imminent harm,” which falls under one of the site’s most prioritized categories for threats. It says that “cooperation is key,” and encourages anyone with information about this malicious activity on Twitch to share it so that appropriate action can be taken.