Twitch leak suggests major response to streaming site’s “hate mob” issues

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Enlarge (credit: Aurich Lawson / Ars Technica)

Twitch—the popular game-streaming site acquired by Amazon in 2014—has been inundated in recent months by “hate raids,” which can dump vulgar and hateful speech into the site’s prominent chat feeds. For some time, racist slurs and bigoted references have been winning this fight, but a leaked interface update suggests that Twitch might finally take legitimate steps to squash its toxic chat feeds.

On Sunday, streaming-industry reporter Zach Bussey shared a series of screenshots, including an interface as apparently captured from Twitch’s German site, that point to a new type of user verification system coming to the chat-heavy service. As pictured and described, this system would allow Twitch users to opt into either verifying their email address or phone number. (A version of email verification already exists, but currently, Twitch users can use the same address to bulk-verify multiple accounts at the same time.)

The incentive for opting in to this process will come from individual Twitch channel moderators, who might only allow people to chat if they’ve verified either (or both) credentials.

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