Keeping Our Community Safe: Twitch 2020 Transparency Report
Today we are taking an important step forward in our commitment to being more open about our safety efforts by releasing our first global Transparency Report, which covers the period from January-December 2020. We believe that providing greater clarity about our approach to safety, the actions we took to enforce our Community Guidelines and Terms of Service, and our response to government requests for information is crucial to building trust in our efforts to improve the safety of our service.
To ensure that Twitch is a place where everyone can connect and create together, creators and their communities must feel safe on our service. We care deeply about our community’s safety, and are committed to getting this right. To that end, over the past several years we’ve increased our investment and focus on product, policy and operational safety. Creating a Transparency Report is an important measure of our accountability — it requires being honest about the obstacles we face and how we are working to resolve them to improve safety on Twitch. Moving forward, we’ll be releasing two transparency reports a year so we can track our progress as a community. We also have a responsibility to help you understand the work we’re doing to make Twitch a safe, inclusive place for our diverse global community.
Twitch experienced tremendous growth over the course of 2020, including a 40% increase in the total number of channels that went live from the first half of the year to the second. This growth in channels was accompanied by growth in viewership and engagement, including a 33% increase in chat messages sent across Twitch. Given this massive growth, it is not surprising that we saw a corresponding increase in the total volume of reports and subsequent enforcement actions taken across reporting categories.
Growth is only one part of the story. The increase in enforcement activity was also the result of the improvements we made to our operational capacity to ensure we were equipped to meet the demands of our growing community. Over the past year alone, we quadrupled the number of moderation team members available to review and respond to user reports, which yielded a 96% reduction in median report response time. The increase in enforcement action is also attributable to the fact that individual channels stepped up their moderation efforts over the course of 2020. Channel owners took decisive action to uphold their community’s standards through increased usage of the tools we provide like AutoMod and Mod View and by appointing live moderators.
The action taken in the report reflects the hard work of creators and moderators on Twitch, our internal safety team and the investment we’ve made to build products and features that support their work. In 2020, we made several improvements to our safety tools and solutions including:
- Invested in our moderator community by launching Mod View, a highly customizable home for all of the tools mods use to take action in their channels, and saw significant increases in moderation coverage across Twitch.
- Added Unban Requests to Mod View to help mods manage and streamline appeals of channel-level bans.
- Our offensive username detection model blocked 3x the number of offensive usernames this year compared to last.
- Proactive detection also helped us fight whisper spam, and led to a 70% decline in whisper spam-related reports from H1 to H2.
- We cracked down on phishing streams and increased suspensions of accounts involved with this activity.
- Introduced feedback for community members who file reports including a confirmation when a report is received, and a notification if action is taken.
- Updated our enforcement notifications to include more detail about the violative content to ensure they understand the violation and how to avoid repeating it.
- Created the Twitch Safety Advisory Council, an eight member consultative body composed of online safety experts and Twitch creators. Since its formation, council members have provided invaluable feedback that has helped shape our policy and product development.
- Updated our Community Guidelines to be clearer and more explicit, including clarifications to our policies around suspension evasion and Drops farming, as well as significant overhauls of our Nudity & Attire and Hateful Conduct & Harassment policies.
Safety is not an end state, so while we are proud of what we’ve accomplished, we recognize there is always more work to be done. We look forward to introducing a number of safety updates in the coming months, including new moderation tools, machine learning models, and policy updates to improve the safety experience on Twitch.
This report is the first of its kind for Twitch so we will look closely at the feedback we receive to inform how we can refine these reports moving forward. Above all, we want to ensure we are providing a comprehensive snapshot of safety on Twitch to show our progress and be accountable for continually improving over time.
We know that this report will likely raise questions from the community, and we’re planning to answer your questions in a live Creator Camp stream on 3/2 at 12pm PT. We will be adding subtitles to the VOD in Brazilian Portuguese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Spanish, and Traditional Chinese, and expect these to be available in 1-2 weeks. Until then, you can share your feedback via UserVoice, and we’ll add Frequently Asked Questions to this blog so check back for updates.