Blizzard's Attempt to Stem Twitch Chat Trolls

blizzard.jpg

Via Polygon- “Since the earliest days of the Overwatch League, Blizzard has had a tough time getting fans, and even pro players, to behave themselves in Twitch chat. Whether it was spamming emotes or simply posting offensive messages, every week of the Overwatch League meant more and more bans. However, as we head into the league’s second season, Blizzard is trying combat Twitch chat toxicity through a new program that it will first test during Overwatch Contenders.

Contenders, the semi-professional division of the Overwatch League, hosts its own broadcasts on a Twitch channel separate from Blizzard’s pro league. It’s on this channel that Blizzard will run its first tests of a new chat moderation system.

Viewers who want to participate in Twitch chat during Overwatch Contenders streams will need to link their Battle.net accounts with their Twitch accounts. The restriction, Blizzard hopes, will lead to ‘a more positive viewing experience.’”

Toxicity in Overwatch isn’t exactly a new topic (just last night I reported several players for abusive chat during a match) but I am interested in Blizzard’s newest attempt to keep it to a minimum. As noted in the article, Blizzard has yet to release the exact course of punishments for those that abuse Twitch chat TOS. I certainly think it would be to their benefit to have some sort of ban on the Battle.net accounts for those that break the rules, rather than just not be allowed to speak in Twitch Chat for five minutes.

User Dingus_The_Wise brought up an interesting point:


Trying to curb Twitch chat toxicity like this is equivalent to trying to put out a forest fire with a garden hose. This is going to result in one of two outcomes. People will tune out completely from the live shows. If they care enough they’ll go back and re-watch them after the fact while they are doing other stuff because they aren’t worried about engaging in the chat. The other side of the coin is that people watch it live but basically leave it in the background and ignore the chat completely.

I don’t agree with the point of people tuning out from the show; if they aren’t worried about engaging in the chat to begin with, they can just hide it. But the first part of their statement rings true; Twitch chat toxicity is certainly an issue that has grown rampant. The hope is that the threat of ramifications to their gaming accounts with curb them from engaging in abusive chat to begin with. We’ll have to keep an eye out on their test run of this new policy to see what, if any, impact it has on Twitch chat.