Twitch officials have addressed findings from a recent report detailing nearly 2,000 child predators found on the streaming platform.
After the recent report of nearly 2,000 child predators Twitch, the company responded to the findings. To say that Twitch is going through challenging times is a huge understatement. Whether it’s banning gambling on its platform or dealing with problematic streamers, Twitch has no shortage of controversy. Although the recent report of child predation is perhaps the platform’s most troubling development to date.
According to the report, child predators used the Amazon-owned company to identify young streamers, targeting as many as 279,016 children on Twitch between October 2020 and August 2022. That includes 1,976 accounts that follow young streamers, with hundreds of them following at least 1,000 children each. The research found that the behavior of these accounts showed unusual patterns, indicating their existence “primarily for the cataloging, viewing and manipulation of children”.
In response to the findings, Twitch product chief Tom Verrilli said, “even a single case of grooming is abhorrent,” and if the data from the report is valid, the streaming platform Twitch doesn’t offer the level of protection it strives for, calling it “deeply troubling.” . Verrilli goes on to note that the platform currently does not allow users under the age of 13 and actively seeks to prevent Twitch from being used to harm children. Verrilli also notes that Twitch “has made major investments over the past two years to better stay ahead of bad actors” with the goal of preventing “any users who are under the age of 13 from accessing Twitch.”
In addition, the report indicates that since the start of its research in 2020, Twitch’s law enforcement response team has quadrupled in size, working with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) and the Tech Coalition, an industry-wide alliance that actively combats sexual abuse of children on the Internet. After a verified case of grooming on the platform, the law enforcement response team would typically notify the authorities and investigate the groomer’s own networks. However, the child exploitation report suggests that Twitch’s existing moderation tools and processes may not be nearly enough.
The company also stated that “numerous additional updates are in development” aimed at detecting and removing child streamers as well as predators from the platform. Although Twitch has yet to share details about any of these updates, claiming that bad actors could use it to their advantage. Regardless, it remains to be seen how the platform will approach the report with any concrete course of action. We hope that all the measures taken will be enough to completely alleviate the problem of child predators, especially considering how Twitch is already embroiled in a lot of controversies.
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