A new "shield mode" is Twitch's latest effort to help stop harassment.
Small purple shield icon with a black mouse pointer

Twitch, the live streaming platform owned by Amazon, is again trying to curtail harassment campaigns that have been aptly named "hate raids." This is where some loser gets a large number of people to mass "attack" a target, usually a streamer that is actively streaming, with chat spam that typically consists of personal attacks, slurs, and even personal information.

The latest efforts from Twitch to lessen the impact these harassment campaigns have is something they're calling Shield Mode. Shield Mode is a bit like an emergency button. With a single click streamers and mods can instantly enable a bunch of safety measures for the channel. Shield Mode options can be customized as necessary before they need to be used.

Shield Mode on Twitch could do something like instantly enable follower-only chat or sub-only chat, enable the need for account verification before being allowed to chat, and increase the AutoMod level. Without Shield Mode, these options would need to be enabled one at a time.

Alongside the introduction of Shield Mode are a few new safety measures. The first new feature is the mass ban option. This will let streamers or their mods mass ban people that use specific words or phrases that have been flagged while Shield Mode is enabled. These bans can be individually reversed later if the streamer wants. Those that are mass banned can also be reported to Twitch should the streamer decide to do so. Another new feature is an option to prevent those who never chatted in a streamer's chat before from sending a message at all. This one is called the "no first-time chatters" option.

Once it's determined that the hate raid is over, the streamer or mods can toggle off Shield Mode in order to restore the previously set channel settings.

Though hate raids happen a bit less frequently than they did in 2021, they do still happen from time to time. When a streamer is target of a hate raid, the streamer tends to keep the more strict channel settings permanently in place, which can often hamper community growth. Twitch hopes that with this easy toggle, streamers that are victims of hate raids can keep the more relaxed settings in place during calmer periods.

Shield Mode can also help you thrive and safely build your community in the long term by letting you keep safety settings more relaxed when things are calm. We have some powerful safety tools, but we understand that using those tools can mean keeping your community more closed off, or your chat more restricted. Streamers who need online protection the most—including Black and LGBTQIA+ streamers disproportionately targeted by hate raids— often need online visibility the most. So particularly for underrepresented communities, we hope this will be a first step in helping you keep your community open and welcoming to new members, while also maximizing your safety.
Twitch concludes today's announcement by saying that they are still working on other tools that "make it easier to moderate your channel."