Streamlabs, one of the most popular resources for livestreaming tools, software, and informational support, is releasing a new “Safe Mode” feature to compliment its Cloudbot tool. The new feature is a direct response to increasing reports of “hate raids” on Twitch, where streamers (generally members of marginalized communities) are subjected to ceaseless floods of racially or sexually discriminatory language from numerous user accounts.
Safe Mode is a toggle in Streamlabs' dashboard that lets users clear all recent events from their chat, clear currently queued follower/host/raid, and disable follower alerts.
If users have Streamlabs' Cloudbot feature enabled, Safe Mode will also put chat in emote-only mode, follower-only mode, and sub-only mode, disable chat alerts for followers, and clear chat history.
According to a Streamlabs employee, streamers can also give their mods and admins access to Safe Mode features through the Streamlabs site. Additional access methods are on the way.
“Streamlabs believes in fostering a supportive environment to ensure a positive experience for our streamers and their viewers,” Streamlabs said. “You and your community should feel safe to express yourselves without fear of being harassed.”
Hate raids on Twitch became such a prevalent issue for many streamers that parts of the community started the #ADayOffTwitch movement, boycotting the service after Twitch failed to present any effective solution to racist brigading. The boycott resulted in concurrent viewership dropping from 4.5 million to 3.5 million people, a considerable chunk of business.
Streamers used the boycott to demand that Twitch take a number of actions to combat harassment on its platform, including holding a roundtable with content creators to gauge the community's desires, creating more proactive tools to combat harassment via age gating or denying hate raids, and removing the ability to tie numerous Twitch accounts to one email address.
Many Twitch users, including members of the Twitch Affiliate program, praised Streamlabs for doing something about a negative situation it has no ownership over.
Oh look, once again Streamlabs provides the tools @Twitch refuses to. #TwitchDoBetter https://t.co/cRMzOiM2X6September 1, 2021
Come Thru Streamlabs!!! At the moment twitch isn’t doing anything to fix the hate raids. I’m glad @streamlabs stepped up!!! https://t.co/INgUVUw0XKSeptember 1, 2021
It's certainly nice to see more anti-harassment tools at streamers' disposal, considering it's harder to avoid hate raids than you might think. Streamlabs isn't directly affiliated with Twitch (Streamlabs was purchased by Logitech in 2019), but the Streamlabs OBS software has long been one of the most popular options for streaming through sites like Twitch and YouTube.
For now, streamers and stream watchers alike are waiting to see what Twitch's next move is.