Amazon Twitch makes adjustments to address child predators on the platform

Amazon Twitch Makes Adjustments

Amazon Twitch claimed to have strengthened technology to detect and cancel accounts belonging to users under 13 and imposed obligatory phone verification requirements.

In response to concerns that it facilitates child predatory behaviour, Amazon Twitch, the popular teen and child-oriented live-streaming website for video games, announced improvements to the platform.

Amazon Twitch, which Inc. owns, announced on Tuesday that it had strengthened its technology to detect and delete accounts belonging to minors and added necessary phone verification requirements.

According to a blog post by Amazon Twitch, “Grooming is particularly insidious because it can be hidden in plain sight, and there are fewer established industry practises for detecting it.” We’re sharing an update on our ongoing work to combat these predators today because they are not welcome and will not be tolerated on Twitch.”

A report describing widespread child predatory behaviour on Amazon Twitch and the inadequate moderating tools on the network was released by Bloomberg News in September. Bloomberg looked at 1,976 Twitch accounts with follower counts that were at least 70% made up of children or young adults. A researcher who investigates live streaming platforms found that over 279,016 apparent minors were the targets of predators. Due to worries about possible professional ramifications from being affiliated with such a distressing topic, the researcher asked to remain anonymous. Bloomberg has found more youngsters being targeted and new malicious accounts in a follow-up examination over the previous month.

Following the report’s publication, the UK’s Ofcom contacted Twitch to discuss the platform’s inadequate child protections. According to a spokesperson for Ofcom, “We are actively reviewing whether Twitch’s measures are sufficiently robust enough to prevent the most harmful material from being uploaded.”

The simplicity with which children can falsely represent their age, register for an account, and immediately Livestream themselves to anonymous and unmeasurable audiences, according to critics, is the foundation of child predatory behaviour on Twitch. Before live streaming on mobile devices, users of YouTube and TikTok must have a certain number of followers. ByteDance Ltd.-owned TikTok recently announced plans to raise its live streaming age requirement from 16 to 18 starting November 23. YouTube, a service owned by Alphabet Inc., by default doesn’t “list” or make searchable mobile live streams from users under the age of 17.

When it comes to age verification and obstacles to children’s live streaming, Twitch still needs to catch up to its rivals. Unlike other services, Twitch has never mandated two-factor verification for individuals registering on mobile. With the most recent improvements, Twitch will now need at least one phone verification before live streaming, which the company claims will help prevent kids whose accounts have already been suspended for streaming while underage from opening new ones. Hundreds more apparent youngsters are still being found and followed by the predatory accounts in the data dump, according to a recent examination of those accounts.

Amazon Twitch announced on Tuesday that it has changed the Whispers direct messaging feature’s default privacy settings and disabled the use of specific search phrases to access information on the site. Collaboration with outside groups that monitor grooming trends in the market and report on inappropriate behaviour on the platform has also been strengthened. The purchase of Spirit AI, which uses language processing to comb through online chat features and will aid in developing tools to find harms in the text on Twitch, was also completed, according to Twitch.

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