ADL says Twitch needs to invest more in moderation

ADL says Twitch needs to invest more in moderation

The Anti-Defamation League has said that streaming platform Twitch needs to make greater strides when it comes to moderation.

As reported by Engadget, the organisation's Center for Technology and Society (CTS) recently published a report, Politics, Gaming Culture and Content Moderation on Twitch, in which it looked into four streaming events on Twitch and how these did or did not "devolve into hotbeds of bigotry and harassment."

These streams were three conducted by Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, one held by Georgia Democrats Reverend Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, in addition to a broadcast hosted by comedian Jimmy Fallon.

AOC's streams did not devolve into harassment, CTS says, due to the robust community moderation that aimed to "keep the stream positive."

"Comparing Ocasio-Cortez’s events and Fallon’s event, we found that the central difference in moderation hinged on the number of experienced community moderators involved in keeping the stream positive during the events," the CTS wrote.

"Experienced community moderators understand how to navigate Twitch culture and calibrate moderation tools to ensure that Twitch events stay respectful and inclusive.

"One significant lesson is that politicians and public figures interested in engaging with Twitch should connect with experienced community moderators and researchers familiar with the platform to create positive spaces for discussion and political engagement. We also recommend that Twitch require public figures to engage experienced community moderators before hosting events, and the company dedicates additional resources, training, and compensation to ensure a robust pipeline of skilled and experienced community moderators help make the platform a more welcoming space for all people."

CTS also says that Twitch needs to "keep moderation resources and training commensurate with platform growth" – in other works, make sure it is devoting enough investment to community moderation.

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.