The survey was built to address bullying based on gender and race, and included 3,319 streamers from Twitch. Over 13% of respondents have felt personally attacked on Twitch, and more than 27% have witnessed racial or gender based bullying in live streaming.
In response to the results, StreamElements is releasing a profanity filter, which streamers can set to their own specifications to block objectionable content in the chat. “The filter can be set to detect hundreds of variations of derogatory, obscene and inflammatory words as well as offensive l33tspeak, and will be constantly updated as internet language evolves,” according to the press release.
The streamer can set the filter to automatically replace a word with another amusing word or emote if they choose, making what could have been an attack a more humorous experience, creating a more welcoming stream environment. Doron Nir, co-founder and CEO of StreamElements, commented on the need for streamers to be able to control the content of their streams for their viewers.
“Live streaming is one of the fastest-growing forms of media for good reason – it’s a profoundly entertaining and interactive way for people to engage with each other online. To accelerate this growth trajectory, we must give content creators powerful tools to customize their streams and create positive, inclusive communities that will encourage even more to join,” said Nir. “We are strongly committed to enabling this growth and bringing value to creators and communities, and we believe this feature is a giant step toward fulfilling our goals.”
Twitch is primarily made up of white males, both in terms of content creators and audience. According to the survey, 81.8% of respondents identify as male, with 15.6% female and 2.5% selecting “Transgender, Androgynous, or Gender Fluid.” Of the racial breakdown, 71.5% are white, and the next largest group is Hispanic/Latino at 10.2% of respondents.
Of the respondents, only 26.4% believe that Twitch is “Very Effective” at preventing or addressing bullying issues, making a significant margin of people who may seek third-party solutions to the bullying issues on the popular streaming service.