Twitch streamers can soon block banned accounts from tuning in

Twitch announced this week that an upcoming change will allow streamers to block banned users from tuning into their streams. “You can choose to have your banned chatters no longer be able to watch the stream,” Senior Product Manager Trevor Fisher revealed on Twitch’s Patch Notes podcast (via TechCrunch), stressing that the feature won’t be enabled by default. The new blocking feature will roll out in the next few weeks.

“The way that it will work is if you ban somebody and they’re currently watching, then the stream playback will be interrupted for them so that they immediately lose the ability to view the stream,” he explained. “And then if you go offline, you stream again, they won’t be able to watch your subsequent streams either until you choose to un-ban them.” He said it would have the same effect regardless of whether the streamer or a moderator bans someone: That person can’t watch your streams until they’re unblocked.

One significant limitation to the new feature is that it only applies to logged-in users: Anyone viewing a stream while logged out of their account can still watch it. Twitch isn’t blocking IP addresses (at least for now), which leaves room for the noteworthy exception.

Fisher stressed that this is an incremental change that only partially addresses some of the platform’s moderation problems, including multiple women accusing Twitch streamers of sexual abuse and misconduct. Other moves to address the issue have included adding a one-button anti-harassment tool, enhancing its reporting and appeals process, rewriting its community policies and taking a stronger stance against deepfakes. “We know that this is an area where people want us to do more, and it’s just been shipping off one part of the problem at a time,” Fisher said.

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