Twitch officials addressed findings in a recent report detailing nearly 2,000 child predators found on the streaming platform.
After a recent report on nearly 2,000 child predators twitch, the company has responded to the findings. To say that Twitch is going through challenging times is a serious understatement. Whether it’s banning gambling on its platform or dealing with questionable streaming, Twitch has no shortage of controversies. Although the most recent report of child predation may be the platform’s most disturbing development yet.
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 accounts following at least 1,000 of each child. The study argues that the accounts’ behavior showed unusual patterns, suggesting they existed “primarily for the purpose of cataloguing, observing and manipulating children.”
In response to the findings, Twitch’s head of product Tom Verrilli said that “even a single instance of grooming is abhorrent” and that if the reported data is valid, the streaming platform Twitch does not offer the level of protection it is targeting, calling it ” It is deeply disturbing.” Verrilli went on to mention that the platform does not currently allow users under the age of 13, and that it actively seeks to prevent Twitch from being used to harm children. Verrilli also mentioned that Twitch has “invested significantly over the past two years to better stay ahead of bad actors” with the aim of preventing “any user under the age of 13 from accessing Twitch.”
Additionally, the report notes that Twitch’s law enforcement response team has quadrupled since the study began in 2020, partnering with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) and the Technology Coalition, an industry-wide coalition that actively confronts Online Child Sexual Abuse. Following verified instances of grooming on the platform, law enforcement response teams typically report to authorities and investigate groomers’ own networks. However, reports of child predation suggest that Twitch’s existing moderation tools and processes may not be sufficient.
The company also said there are “many additional updates in development” aimed at detecting and removing child streamers and predators on the platform. While Twitch hasn’t shared details of any of these updates, it claims bad actors could use it to their advantage. In any case, it remains to be seen how the platform will handle the report with any concrete action. Anything that is hoped will be enough to alleviate the child predator problem in general, especially given that Twitch is already embroiled in too many controversies.
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