Blizzard Implements Moderation System to Twitch Chat, Requiring Account Linking

Starting with the Overwatch Contenders quarterfinals, Blizzard will implement a new moderation system on Twitch that will require linking to

Creating a healthy environment online is an uphill battle, but it is one that Blizzard has attempted to tackle a number of times. The game company’s latest effort is towards Twitch chat, specifically for competitive Overwatch. The “Overwatch Contenders” quarterfinals will require those who want to participate in the Twitch chat to link their Twitch accounts to their accounts.

Blizzard describes this as an attempt to “improve the viewer experience for the Overwatch Path to Pro ecosystem.” This implementation will go into effect starting with the Season 3 quarterfinals, which will go on from December 28 to January 12.

Any user who doesn’t connect their accounts and attempts to access the chat will be met with an automatic reply prompting them to do so. It isn’t clear on what sort of disciplinary action (or which account such action will be applied towards) will be enacted towards users who engage in toxic behavior, whether that would be bans or other chat restrictions from Twitch or any sort of penalty to a account.

Twitch chats are infamous for hosting inappropriate, racist, and overall hateful speech. While accountability is something that fans of competitive Overwatch may desire, concerns have arisen from these fans about the requirement of a account leading to some inaccessibility and privacy issues from connecting accounts.

The moves to combat online toxicity all sound good on paper, but the effectiveness and potential side effects won’t really be known until its implementation. In the meanwhile, casual Overwatch players can partake in the Winter seasonal event. Along that came a video of Reaper and Tracer fighting over Santa’s cookies. ‘Tis the season, everyone.

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Chris Compendio

Chris is a writer currently based in the Philadelphia area. They are currently writing for film website Flixist, podcasting for Marvel News Desk, and were an editorial intern for Paste Magazine's gaming section. They graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a creative writing major.

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