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Twitch Feature Being Exploited To Post Banned NSFW Content

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Twitch Feature Being Exploited To Post Banned NSFW Content

When your platform for livestreaming is as large as Twitch it becomes almost impossible to monitor all of the content available. 

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Like most social media, the platform - still largely focused on gaming content - relies on users reporting streams which break community guidelines. This includes breaking the law, violence or threats, harassing behaviour and of course nudity. Twitch has been criticised for the way it deals with rulebreakers. Streamers are often banned following an infraction but then never informed of exactly what they did. Conversely, some popular streamers appear to avoid the ban hammer despite serious breaches.

If you want to see some (safe for work!) Twitch wins and fails, watch our video below.

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At the end of 2021, Twitch introduced a new system for promoting creators’ channels. Some streamers were offered the chance to opt in to community boosts. This is a system whereby if viewers donate Channel Points, the currency earned by continuously watching someone’s content, then their favourite creators will be placed on the front page for a short time.

The number of Channel Points needed, and the number of people who will see the boosted stream, varies depending on how popular your stream is. The more followers your channel has, the more Channel Points needed, and the more people who will see your channel pop up under their recommended streams. 

Speaking to GAMINGbible, partnered Twitch streamer 360Chrism explained more about the system. Some have wrongly claimed the community boost is pay-to-play however Chris clarified that partners cannot pay for front page coverage. "Twitch is probably just experimenting with new ways to implement boosts. It was random. It's still a setting, I never turned it off, but I haven't seen it in months."

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Yesterday (30 March), however it appears this feature was exploited. Several people on Twitter posted clips and screenshots showing some not-safe-for-work content which had made it onto the front page during a community boost. The boosted channel was streaming under the Grand Theft Auto V tag with the title REAL MAGIC. The thumbnail, however, showed a woman’s bare breasts, and some users claimed the stream was showing videos from PornHub. 

The account has since been banned for violating terms of service, but the experience has brought the controversial feature back under the spotlight due to how it can clearly be abused to put inappropriate content on the Twitch homepage.

Featured Image Credit: Twitch / The Pokemon Company

Topics: Twitch

Georgina Young
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