If there’s one thing that every single person who uses the Internet can agree on, it’s that the chat attached to huge events on Twitch is almost always awful. With a new moderating tool, released today, the people who run Twitch are taking another step to help fix that.
This afternoon, the popular streaming site launched AutoMod, a tool that uses the power of automated filters and word recognition to help clean up terrible comments. Twitch streamers can toggle AutoMod in their settings pages, and if the service works as promised, it’ll filter out both awful words and clever facsimiles of awful words using numbers to replace letters. (How many times have you seen Twitch chatters spam things like “n1gg3r”?)
Says Twitch in a press release:
AutoMod is a unique moderation tool that does more than filter inappropriate chat. When a user sends a message that AutoMod flags as potentially inappropriate, the message is held in a publishing queue awaiting moderator approval. AutoMod also enables broadcasters to adjust the degree of filtering in the event they are more or less conservative about the type of dialogue they want to see in their chat. Beyond identifying inappropriate words and phrases, AutoMod can detect potentially inappropriate strings of emotes and other characters or symbols that others could use to evade filtering.
Will any of this make Twitch chat worth reading? Probably not. But at least the company is putting more effort into making things a little more pleasant for those who stream video games—and cooking shows—every day.
UPDATE (2:36pm): The lede of this article originally said that Twitch chat was universally awful, but a number of Twitch streamers have pointed out that smaller and more curated communities can have quite lovely chatrooms, which, totally fair! We’ve tweaked accordingly and apologize for the generalization.