In a September update, Twitch will be rolling out changes to the way that banning people in streams works.
The changes are optional for streamers, and turning them on will mean that banned users are not able to watch streams.
Changes are being made to Twitch bans
It was announced in a Patch Notes stream on 16 August that Twitch will be releasing an update to bans in September.
In the stream, Twitch senior product manager Trevor Fisher, said: “We’ve gotten a lot of feedback over the years that people want their channel bans do more.
“You’ll have to go into your dashboard to use this, it’s not going to be something we just drop on everybody, but if you do choose to use it, what it will be is, you can choose to have your banned chatters no longer be able to watch the stream.”
Fisher explained that banning someone who is watching a stream will interupt it so that they cannot keep watching. The banned user will not be able to watch any future streams until they are unbanned.
The effect will apply regardless of whether the user was banned by a moderator or a streamer, but it is up to the streamer to turn the option on in their settings.
The functionality will also be applied if a user is blocked, without any need to turn the function on, meaning blocked users will not be able to watch streams either.
Will the changes to bans benefit streamers?
KnightlyIRL, a Wizard101 variety streamer, praised the updates, saying that it will greatly benefit people who have been harassed or stalked through Twitch.
In a tweet, he said: “I have had issues with stalkers and people harassing me on stream so this is a HUGE UPDATE for me and people that have been struggling with this!”
Additionally, banning users will prevent them from following you, and will also remove the user from the list if they are already a follwer until they are unbanned.
The updates to bans are not perfect at this point, and there are some work arounds that prevent them being completely effective in preventing banned users from engaging with streams.
As it stands, the new updates to bans and blocks will not stop the affected users from viewing VODs or clips, though this is something the team is looking to implement in the future.
Similarly, there is seemingly nothing stopping banned users from using an incognito window or signing out to be able to watch the stream.
While there is still a way to go when it comes to making Twitch bans completely effective, this is a step in the right direction and shows that Twitch is listening to requests from users to make the platform safer.