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How to Moderate with Chat Bots

Recently, I’ve had a friend who has been antagonized by a person while they were livestreaming. Mods would ban the person and the person would just create a new account and continue antagonizing and harassing anyway they can to get a reaction from them.

Now, talking about dealing with hateful remarks on the internet can go in an infinite number of directions. What I want to focus on though is something I don’t see a lot of aspiring or even established streamers do when it comes to managing their stream. They don’t take the time to setup a chat bot to moderate their chat.

As a streamer one of your core foundations should be how to manage the type of content you want and don’t want in your stream. You will want to ask yourself “What type of content will I take offense from?” and write that down. Be it ASCII art, foul lanaguage or sexual content. That is the type of content you will want to setup filters for in your chat bot.

Chat Bots

Simply put a chat bot is a program that is told to scan messages and will based on the message and it’s programming will either prevent the message from being posted into chat or will delete the message and time out the user. Not all chat bots are the same as some will focus more on preventing messages from being posted while other chat bots are designed around taking action if the message posted violates the rules set or the message contains a word that is on a blacklist. A blacklist contains a self created list of words that you do not want to be allowed in your chat.

By default if you stream on Twitch, you already have one bot working for you which is AutoMod. AutoMod requires no setup but is accessible under the Creator Dashboard under the Settings tab in Moderation. AutoMod is a machine learning based bot that determines what is considered hostile based on the overall aggregate of messages that are either allowed or denied by moderators. You’ll be able to set the level of filtering from level 0 which has no filtering to level 4 which has the most filtering for hostility, discrimination, sexual content, and profanity.

While Automod is a chat bot that I would recommend use, you should still want to use a third party chat bot to help moderate spam.

One chat bot that has a spam filter bot is StreamElements. StreamElements bot spam filter will remove messages through the following types of protection: Capital letters, Link/URLs, Emotes, Paragraphs (lengthy messages), Symbols, and Banned Words.

With the StreamElements Bot Spam Filter, you can either choose a level of protection like AutoMod which will activate and determine what will be considered spam and the duration a viewer will be timed out for posting the message in chat or you can customize the Bot Spam Filter and decide what kind of spam you want to filter out. For example, if you don’t like ASCII art being posted in chat, you can turn on the symbol protection filter and set the length of the time out and how many symbols in a message is considered spam.

There are other websites that also have their own bots like Nightbot, StreamLabs, and Moobot. However, I would highly recommend using at least one chat bot on top of Twitch’s AutoMod.

Offense is Taken, Not Given

When it comes to dealing with hateful messages or spam, it is important to use chat bots to help moderate the type of content that you take offense from. Chat bots are only as good as you are honest with yourself with the type of content you choose to be offended by which will vary from streamer to streamer. I would recommend that when you or with a moderator helps you setup the bot that you determine the content that is consistent with the way you act on stream. You want to be consistent letting your viewers follow the rules based on how you socialize. For example, if you find yourself using foul language, then you should not have your chat bot time out users for using the same profanity that you do. Consistency is key.

Chat bots are a critical tool to any streamer that should be at their foundation if they stream as a hobby or as their career. Twitch’s AutoMod helps you filter out messages of discrimination by preventing the message from being posted while bots such as StreamElements or Nightbot has spam filter protection where they will scan messages and delete and time out viewers that spam messages in your stream. Take the time to decide what content offends you and have the chat bots reflect your values so that your viewers know where the boundries are while they engage with you.