Here’s what’s next for Twitch safety after dropping Advisory Council

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Twitch has disbanded its be disbanding the Safety Advisory Council, but why did the group get shut down, what did they actually do, and what’s Twitch doing to protect streamers now?

When Twitch created the council in 2020, their goal was to bring together a group of leaders to help diversify Twitch policies. The council was composed of experts on topics such as bullying, streamers, and chat moderators. Each member received $10,000 to $20,000 a year to advise the platform on changes to its community guidelines and offer ideas on mitigating harassment, particularly hate raids, more effectively.

But on May 6, the group was told that their contracts were ending and that they would not receive the remainder of their payments as of May 31, 2024. The void leaves major questions about the state of Twitch, how it handles safety issues, and what it’s willing to pay for users’ security.

Who determines Twitch bans and how long they last?

Details regarding how Twitch decides to ban a streamer and how long bans last are kept vague by the platforms. According to one of the now-former Safety Advisory Council members, they had no say in decisions on bans.

A vocal segment of the Twitch user base believed the Safety Advisory Council handled bans across Twitch. This board garnered criticism in part because of a lack of transparency in Twitch’s process and seemingly uneven treatment regarding often-banned streamers.

According to Twitch streamer and council member Zizaran in a Reddit post, council members were asked about policy changes and whether they thought they were good ideas. Zizaran replied to multiple users, stating the council had nothing do with bans. Their main contribution was to give thoughts on policy changes and whether changes to rules were “stupid or good.”

When asked how often Twitch listened to their opinions or councils, Zizaran replied with a laughing emoji.

Twitch seemingly leaning on volunteers when it comes to user safety after laying off paid experts

Twitch indicated that some decisions regarding user safety will be made by Twitch ambassadors and new council members, rather than the mix of streamers and experts of the Safety Advisory Council.

In a statement obtained by CNBC, Twitch stated that it will be adding new council members and leaning on a group of 180 Twitch ambassadors. Ambassadors have been an unpaid role and there’s no indication that this has changed.

It’s unclear how many new Safety Advisory Council members will replace the outgoing team, or what credentials they have. Alongside streamers, the Safety Advisory Council had experts from organizations including the Center for Democracy and Technology and Cyber Bullying Research Center.

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Written by Rachel Olsen

Rachel has been playing video games since the original Nintendo Entertainment System. She loves the Kingdom Hearts and Legend of Zelda franchises, and has been immersed in esports since joining a team as a content creator in 2018. She spends lots of time and money on games like Overwatch, Valorant, Mortal Kombat, and Street Fighter, and she's Master-ranked in Pokemon Unite. She recently received her Master's in New Media Journalism and wants to travel the world while writing and creating content around esports and gaming. She can be found on Twitter / X at @crunknwj.

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