How Shield Mode works on Twitch, explained

Protect yourself.

Image via Twitch

Within the past year, Twitch has been seeing a significant increase in hate raids. For those unfamiliar, hate raids are when users flood a streamer’s chat with hateful messages. Those who have been the target of hate raids have been women, members of the LGBTQIA+ community, BIPOC, and other marginalized individuals. Those who have been victims of these raids have voiced their concerns to Twitch saying how harmful they can be to someone’s mental health and that the company needs to do something to put an end to them. After much waiting, Twitch has finally announced a new safety tool called Shield Mode, which is supposed to help streamers protect themselves and their community from these hate raids. So the question is, how does Shield Mode on Twitch work?

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How Shield Mode on Twitch works

Shield Mode allows the streamer to activate a series of safety features that they can customize to fit their own channel’s needs. These settings, which include forcing chatters to have a verified email or phone number in order to chat, are options streamers would see in their Moderation tab on their Creator Dashboard, but Shield Mode now makes it much more accessible by having a shield icon right below the chat for users to access to them in just a few seconds. Streamers and their mods will also be able to turn on Shield Mode and deactivate it at any time by accessing the page through the icon or using chat commands “/shield” and “/shieldoff.”

While Shield Mode is activated, the streamer or mod will be able to input specific terms or phrases to ban. They can also mass ban all users who just recently used that phase in chat. This is an excellent way to counteract hate raids, as the users who participate in them typically repeat the same hateful and derogatory messages over and over again. While in Shield Mode, you can also turn on the option to prevent anyone from chatting if they haven’t chatted in your stream before. Again, this is a good way to help prevent hate raids and ensure a streamer has control over their chat.