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Published: November 4, 2021

Written by: web developer

  • Twitch accidentally releases a new ban feature but removes it shortly after
  • The platform explains this was released too early
  • Users have mixed feelings about the feature, saying it could lead to harm

Yesterday Twitch released a new feature that unfollows a viewer from a channel the moment they are banned. It was not received well by many users, so Twitch quickly removed the feature.

An Accidental Early Release

Like many online platforms, Twitch is not immune to toxicity and unethical users, so the Amazon-owned site constantly tries to curb the spread of things that might ruin other viewers’ experience. From measures against hate raids to implementing new policies and guidelines, Twitch has been trying to clean up its act the past few months.

On November 3 the platform changed its banning system in a major way, yet very quickly rolled back the update, saying the feature has been released too early. The way this feature worked is that when a user gets banned, they automatically unfollow the content creator and are prohibited from re-following them.

The site partnered with CommanderRoot, a streamer on the platform to test out the feature. He said that he personally will not prevent any banned viewers from unfollowing his channel.

Twitch Removes the Feature Just Hours after It Was Released

Just a few hours after the feature was rolled out, Twitch removed the feature from its platform. They posted an explanation on their Twitter support page, saying the feature was “was inadvertently released early”. They explained that this was a new system being developed to combat follow bot abuse.

The decision to remove the feature and perhaps implement it in the future was also spurred on by user feedback, as some expressed concerns that this might lead to a lot of unintentional unfollows.

Users Speak Up against the New Feature

As always, when a new feature on any platform is being implemented, there will be discussion arising regarding its practicality. While some praised Twitch’s new feature as a great way to moderate toxic behavior in chats, others expressed concerns that it might be abused or lead to unintentional bad consequences.

Joking bans from either streamers or chat moderators could potentially harm the channel since users may not be aware that they were unfollowed as well.

It also has to be mentioned that chat moderators are just humans, and humans make mistakes. An honest mistake that was a mild nuisance before, could have higher consequences now, as some Twitter users argued.

Twitch has been serious when punishing users for unlawful or unethical behavior before, yet it seems that sometimes their good intentions could have unforeseen consequences. It is still unclear if Twitch will reintroduce the feature again.

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