Twitch is cracking down on accounts belonging to users under the age of 13 as part of its efforts to protect children on the platform. From a report: In a post on Twitch’s safety center, the Amazon-owned company announced that it’s improving its methods for detecting and terminating the accounts belonging to young users and is also working on ways to block users who were previously suspended for being under 13. These changes come after a report from Bloomberg revealed rampant child predation on the platform. The report, first published in September, analyzed 1,976 accounts on Twitch with follower lists made up of 70 percent or more users who are kids or young teenagers. According to Bloomberg, a total of 279,016 children were targeted by these alleged predators on Twitch.
In addition to “expanding the signals” it uses to catch and block users under the age of 13, Twitch is going to introduce mandatory phone verification requirements to “potentially vulnerable accounts” before they can start livestreaming. While Twitch doesn’t expand on how it will identify these accounts, it says this should help the platform prevent young users who lie about their age from becoming exposed to child predators during livestreams.