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Twitch Is Using Machine Learning To Target Assholes

Twitch is about to roll out a new tool called Suspicious User Detection. This aims to do exactly what it says on the box: try to detect users who are being suspicious. More specifically, those trying to evade existing bans.

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In an announcement blog, Twitch says:

What happens after a user has been flagged depends on the flag. Those suspected of being “Likely” won’t have any of their messages displayed in general chat, but they will still be visible to mods and creators, who can then take further action against the user.

“Possible” cases, meanwhile, will be able to post messages in chat and see them appear, but on the creator/mod end those messages will be flagged “so they can monitor the user and restrict them from chatting if needed.”

Suspicious User Detection is going to be turned on by default when it goes live, but streamers will be able to then go into settings and tinker with it. It will let them do stuff like increase the posting restrictions on “Possible” cases, or manually add users that the machine learning hasn’t detected but they’re suspicious about anyway.

Which all sounds wonderful, but then it’s also putting some pretty powerful tools in the hand of a machine, something that Twitch have to caution for, adding:

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