Twitch Now Allows Streamers to Block Banned Users From Viewing Channels
Twitch has introduced a new anti-harassment capability allowing streamers to block banned users from viewing their livestreams.
The feature lets channel owners toggle on “Stop banned users from viewing stream” in Creator Dashboard moderation settings.
Preventing Banned Users From Stream Access
Previously, banned users could still watch streams while only being restricted from chatting.
Streamers can now fully ban harassers from any platform access. The option also applies automatically with account blocking.
Feature Rolled Out Based on Community Feedback
In August, Twitch said development of the view blocking tool responded to longstanding community feedback.
Many streamers argued banning ability should extend beyond just chat restrictions to prevent harasser engagement.
Phased Rollout May Take Time
Twitch noted the new capability may take time to reach all channel owners during its gradual rollout.
Some Twitch streamers already gained access, while full availability remains unclear. Twitch did not provide a firm timeline.
Part of Broader Anti-Harassment Efforts
The feature augments other recent safety additions like ban evasion detection and banned user list sharing.
Twitch aims to equip streamers and moderators with layered tools tailored to their needs against toxic users.
Why View Blocking Matters for Streamer Safety?
For many streamers, the option to fully block harassers from any activity on their channel closes a significant gap in protecting their community and person.
Preventing Further Harm from Known Abusers
Banning abusers only from chat left them able to still watch and interact with streams via other means.
Stalkers and bad actors could feel empowered and continue harming streamers despite chat bans. No longer.
Fostering Greater Sense of Security
The view blocking function provides critical peace of mind, preventing toxic users from remotely spying on streamers.
Feeling safe on camera is essential for streamers, especially from vulnerable communities disproportionately targeted.
Reducing Abuser Engagement Across Platform
Preventing harassers from any stream access reduces their opportunities for further abuse and removes engagement incentives.
Full bans help deplatform bad actors rather than allow them limited interaction.
Challenges in Tackling Online Harassment
While welcome progress, view blocking alone won’t solve the complex issue of harassment on Twitch and across social media.
Harassment an Evolving, Persistent Problem
As Twitch noted, targeted harassment constantly changes form and manifests new threats requiring sustained innovation.
Comprehensive solutions combine empathy, user insight, policy, and versatile technological tools.
Balancing Support and Accountability
There are inherent tensions in protecting victims while upholding expression rights and properly attributing blame.
Twitch must carefully balance empathy, safety, transparency, proportionality and due process in response.
Looking Beyond Platform Design Alone
Ultimately harassment stems from broader societal problems beyond any single company’s purview.
While vital, better platform design can only complement promoting education, community, and institutional change.
By enabling streamers to fully block banned abusers from their channels, Twitch takes an important step in empowering victims of harassment. However, sustained diligence across technological, social and policy realms is still required to create truly safer, more inclusive online spaces.