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Twitch was warned about security and safety issues - Report

Former employees tell The Verge that streaming platform management was slow to address concerns, regularly neglected to disclose security issues

In the wake of a massive security breach at Twitch leaking the platform's source code and streamer payouts, a number of current or former employees have spoken with The Verge accusing company management of being unconcerned with security and safety issues.

One source told the outlet that Twitch regularly opted not to disclose security issues, including at least one instance when the problem made streamers vulnerable to scam artists and resulted in compromised accounts.

Another source who worked at Twitch from 2017 to 2019 said that staff would pose "constant questions and discontent about the regular moderation failures" on the site, but management would typically be slow to respond.

As an example, the person said staff had warned Twitch that the site's raiding functionality lent itself to harassment before it even went live in 2017. "Raiding" had been known as a way to harass streamers with a mass of hostile incoming viewers, and the decision to keep that terminology and formalize it as part of the culture drew criticism.

The raiding functionality has been a particular issue this year as many marginalized streamers saw a notable uptick in hate raids and, frustrated with the platform's lack of response, organized the #ADayOffTwitch protest for September 1.

Last week, Twitch responded to those concerns by giving streamers the option of restricting chat on their channels to only those users who had verified their account with a mobile phone number.

Twitch management's lack of concern for safety and security issues was a recurring theme of our investigation last year into accusations of sexual assault, racism, and negligence at the company and on the platform since its inception.

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Brendan Sinclair avatar

Brendan Sinclair

Managing Editor

Brendan joined GamesIndustry.biz in 2012. Based in Toronto, Ontario, he was previously senior news editor at GameSpot in the US.