Twitch Adds Shield Mode For Better Safety Against Hate Raids

Hate raids have been a growing problem for Twitch streamers, so much so that Games and Online Harassment Hotline even put together a guide on how to handle them, while there was an entire campaign in March called #TwitchDoBetter amidst racist hate raids. Jump ahead a few months and Twitch has new implemented the Shield Mode feature in a bid to give streamers more security.

With Shield Mode, streamers and their moderators can swap to different channel modes such as follower or sub-only (thanks, Eurogamer). They can also create pre-set options usable via chat commands or shortcuts, while being able to bulk ban and disable first-time chatters.

Given that hate raids are typically co-ordinated outside of a streamer's fanbase, usually in Discords or other similar platforms, a lot of the perpetrators of abuse during hate raids will be first-time chatters or newly formed bots, which will also be first-time chatters. And being able to bulk ban also means being able to weed out these harassers en masse.

"Harassment and hateful behavior can come in waves, such as through a targeted attack, and we hope this tool will make it easier to instantly shut down a hate raid if that ever happens to you," Twitch wrote. "But there are many other ways to use Shield Mode – whether you're planning a stream on a sensitive subject, participating in a campaign that will put you in the spotlight, or being featured on the front page.

Twitch then goes on to say that its working on "More tools that make it easier to moderate your channel", developing new features to help combat hate raids. But it's not just about combatting hate raids in the moment, as Twitch also stated that it's "working aggressively to stop more harm before it ever occurs."

You can activate Shield Mode via the chat, and there are a few options – no first-time chatters, emote-only chat, sub-only chat, followers-only chat, slow mode, non-mod chat delay, and more.

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