Today, Twitch released its first ever transparency report, which provides an in-depth, statistical look at the platform’s security initiatives over the past year. It has some interesting, albeit detailed, information on Twitch’s efforts to curb hateful behavior, sexual harassment, and even terrorist propaganda.
Of course, there are many interesting figures in the report. Fortunately, the company increased the number of experts for content moderation fourfold last year. So when users submit a report, it is more likely that someone will respond to it in a timely manner.
Twitch also pointed to an increase in the number of rules enforcement against reported users and channels. The total number of enforcements rose 41% over the year, and the numbers reflect that in categories like hateful behavior and sexual harassment, violence and blood, nudity and terrorist propaganda (Twitch claims this is extremely rare on its platform, but it also depends on what you classify as terrorism). The company also noted progress on the part of its Law Enforcement Response team, which delivered over 2,000 reports to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in 2020. However, Twitch continues to struggle with young users setting up channels and leaving themselves open to potential robbery.
The report includes a handful of other, similar records, most of which cast Twitch in a favorable light. Certainly they are a useful measure of Twitch’s growth in these areas, and by and large the report reflects similar documentation provided by platforms like Discord. Facebook, and Twitter. The problem with such reports, however, is that they look like they say a lot while revealing very little. Twitch has offered numbers and a small amount of context, but streamers and viewers remain in the dark on key issues that came to light last year.