Twitch has modified how its banning system works with a recent update. Users banned from any given streamer’s chat will now also be automatically unfollowed from the channel. Twitch partner and streamer CommanderRoot tested out and confirmed this new feature.
CommanderRoot also provided some nuance into how this new ban and unfollow interaction works. After being banned, a user isn’t prevented from re-following the channel and can do so immediately. Only blocking a user will prevent any user from following the channel again. Timeouts don’t unfollow viewers.
Previously, a streamer would have to block banned audience members to force an unfollow from the channel. This change likely comes as a result of the massive wave of harassment that led to the #ADayOffTwitch protest and extensive chat safety features that soon followed. The streaming platform has since attempted to implement some solutions to combat chat toxicity, such as a two-step phone verification option for chatters.
Many have expressed concern over this new chat feature and the potential consequences it may entail. A lighthearted or joking ban from either streamers or chat moderators will now potentially harm the channel since users may not be aware that they were unfollowed and the overall follower count of the streamer will be reduced.
Twitch has yet to explicitly advertise this new change to its banning system, though it’s already clearly implemented in chats across the platform. Despite the potential effects this change to the banning process could bring, it’s another tool added to safeguard streams against harassment.