Twitch adds Phone-verified chat, expands email authentication settings as users face ‘hate raids’

Twitch adds Phone-verified chat, expands email authentication settings as users face ‘hate raids’

Investible, a Sydney-based early-stage venture firm best known for its investments in Canva and other top Australian firms, announced today the launch of a $100 million AUD (about $72.3 million USD) Climate Tech Fund. This is Investible’s first time launching a sector-focused fund. Its first two funds, one of which closed earlier this year for $50 million AUD, were both sector-agnostic. Investible also announced last month that it will join with the City of Sydney to develop Greenhouse, growth, and innovation hub for climate tech firms.

In contrast to two-factor authentication, a user just needs to validate their phone or email once to be authenticated across all channels. Users can link up to five accounts to the same phone number on Twitch, but if one of those accounts is banned from a channel, all other identities confirmed with that phone number or email address will be blocked as well. The goal is to prevent people from creating several hate profiles using the same phone number or email address, allowing the streamer to block someone only once instead of five times. If a phone-verified account is suspended, all associated accounts will be suspended as well.

While it is feasible to use a different phone number, such as a Google Voice account, this adds an added layer of complexity for bad actors. Tensions are running high in the Twitch community, as underrepresented creators, particularly those who are Black or LGTBQ+, are being targeted by Twitch’s raid system. When a streamer goes offline, they may surprise another broadcaster by sending a “raid” of their viewers to check out their channel. This tool is intended to assist established streamers in assisting newcomers. Bad actors, on the other hand, have been using the raid feature in recent months to send bots that harass creators during their shows.

Twitch added 350 new channel tags related to gender, sexual orientation, race, and ability in May, in response to user requests for more diverse artists. However, some users used tags to abuse marginalized broadcasters, and Twitch didn’t have enough tools to stop it. As a result, some producers made their own safety tools, such as a “panic button” that launches a sequence of chat commands. With the hashtag #TwitchDoBetter, these streamers encouraged Twitch to take action. Then, earlier this month, streamers such as LuciaEverblack, ShineyPen, and RekItRaven (the tag’s creator) organized #ADayOffTwitch, a one-day boycott of the platform.