Report highlights instances of child abuse and grooming on Twitch

A detailed new report from Bloomberg has highlighted the number of children streaming on Twitch and the number of accounts linked to adult predators following and interacting with them.

The research includes various examples of children who were asked by adult users to engage in overt or inappropriate activities and perform dances or “challenges” during the live stream. Once these streams are finished, the recordings are often viewed by hundreds of other accounts – far more than expected for small channels of their size.

The report suggests this is due to “hundreds” of accounts believed to be used by predators, who have amassed subscriber lists each containing “more than 1,000 children on their watchlists”.

Twitch strictly does not allow anyone under the age of 13 to use its services, although – as with all social media – this is a challenge to the police.

In response to the article, Twitch said it had made “significant investments” over the past two years to “better stay ahead of bad actors and prevent anyone under the age of 13 from accessing Twitch. “.

Verified instances of grooming are passed on by Twitch’s own law enforcement response team — which it says has quadrupled in the past two years — and forwarded to the appropriate authorities.

Yet, with Bloomberg publishing alleged recent examples of grooming, the problem appears to persist.

“Even a single instance of grooming is abhorrent to us, and if valid, the data you refer to demonstrates that we do not yet offer the level of protection we seek – which is deeply upsetting,” Tom wrote. Verrilli, Product Director of Twitch. “This work is vitally important to everyone at Twitch, and we will never stop.”

The report further details the rise of Twitch streaming — and reports of grooming — in the pandemic era and the issues Twitch faces beyond social media to control live content. It’s live on Bloomberg now and well worth reading.