Livestreamers, especially those from marginalized communities, often face targeted hate and harassment on streaming platforms. This has resulted in many streamers banding together to call for more action from platforms themselves–and it has also given third-party streaming tech companies an opportunity to fill the gap. Today, streaming software company Streamlabs announced Safe Mode, a way for people to block hateful and harassing messages from showing up on streams.
Safe Mode works from within Streamlabs to protect a streamer’s feed and live chat from malicious users. In essence, the tool provides a number of restrictions and filters that grant more control over who can interact with a stream. You can select as many or as few of these options as you’d like, and they run the gamut from features already implemented in Twitch like emote-only chat to new features like clearing all recent events and queued raid alerts.
Safe Mode will be available to all users of Streamlabs, regardless of whether or not they pay for Streamlabs’ premium options. Streamlabs’ announcement of Safe Mode comes on the heels of #ADayOffTwitch, a protest against Twitch organized by ShineyPen, Lucia Everblack, and RekItRaven designed to raise awareness about the issues facing streamers from marginalized communities. The protest and its associated Twitter campaign #TwitchDoBetter began following a wave of coordinated “hate raids,” which involved bots and malicious actors flooding a streamer’s chat with racist, bigoted, and violent material.
Twitch and other streaming services have been at the forefront of discussions about how to increase protections for users who are at greater risk of targeted hate and harassment. Twitch’s last big publicly announced effort to combat hate came in December, when the platform updated its rules to include language that may not necessarily be intended to be malicious but still has a negative impact on the Twitch community.