Welcome to the world of Twitch streaming, where you can connect with people from around the world and share your passion for gaming, music, art, and much more. For streamers, there is no asset more valuable than their community, and managing that community can be a daunting task. This is why having chat rules in place is crucial to maintaining a positive and welcoming environment for your viewers.
Whether you’re a seasoned streamer looking to improve your moderation skills or a newcomer to the platform, this article will provide you with the tools and knowledge you need to create a positive and inclusive community on Twitch. We will discuss the importance of having chat rules, how to determine the right rules for your community, and how to enforce them effectively. If you’re unsure where to begin, we’ll also provide you with a rules template to help you get started.
Why Chat Rules are Important for Streamers
Your stream’s chat is where your viewers can interact with you and each other while watching you play games. Managing a chat can be a challenging task. That’s why it’s crucial for streamers to establish clear and fair chat rules.
They Foster a Sense of Community
Having chat rules can benefit not only your viewers but also yourself as a streamer. Chat rules can help foster a sense of community among your viewership by setting expectations for behavior and creating a safe environment for viewers to engage with each other. This can also help attract new viewers who are on the lookout for channels with a positive and welcoming vibe.
Chat Rules Minimize Harassment and Abuse
Having chat rules can greatly minimize cases of harassment and abuse in your chat. With guidelines in place, viewers are less likely to engage in bad behavior. This helps to create a more enjoyable streaming experience for everyone. And, in the unfortunate event that harassment or abuse does occur, having clearly defined chat rules can provide a solid foundation for taking appropriate action, including banning or reporting the offenders.
They Can Keep You Out of Legal Trouble
Bringing attention to and enforcing chat rules, also help protect you against potential legal issues. As a streamer, you are responsible for the content that appears on your channel, including your chat. Having rules in place can help minimize the chances of your chat turning into a platform for harmful or illegal activity. This can help protect you from liability and potential legal action.
By establishing fair guidelines for behavior, you can create a welcoming and enjoyable environment for your viewers, while also protecting yourself from legal issues. Be sure to take the time to carefully craft your chat rules and regularly enforce them to ensure a safe and positive experience for all.
Deciding Your Chat Rules
When it comes to streaming video games on Twitch, one of the most important things to keep in mind is how to manage your chat room. This is where your audience interacts with each other and with you, so it’s essential to establish the right kind of ground rules that align with your community’s values.
Before you start streaming, take some time to think about what rules you want to set for your chat. This will provide a foundation for your community to thrive and will create a sense of order, which can help prevent undesirable behavior.
Know Your Community
Consider the values of your community. Are your followers mature? Are they prone to using strong language or making sexual jokes? Are they interested in politics or religion? You should be aware of these matters and avoid rules that could alienate your audience or breed negativity. Instead, try to come up with guidelines that will help foster positive interactions and respect within your chatroom.
Stay Aware of Twitch Community Guidelines
You’ll also need to consider Twitch’s community guidelines. These rules provide a framework for acceptable behavior on the platform and it’s important to make sure your rules are in line with them. It’s always good to communicate those rules clearly and frequently so that everyone understands your expectations from the beginning.
Always remember that your chat room is a space where people come to interact and have a good time. Be approachable and available to chat with your viewers and always keep their needs and feelings in mind. You may want to test out different rules and adjust according to your community’s feedback.
Twitch Chat Rules Template for New Streamers
If you’re a new streamer on Twitch, one of the most important things you need to do is set up chat rules. Chat rules are essential for creating a positive community on your channel. Without them, your chat can quickly become toxic and unwelcoming.
Here are some basic chat rules that every streamer starting out should consider implementing:
- Be respectful to others. This rule is the cornerstone of any good chat policy. Your audience should treat each other with kindness, even when they disagree. As a streamer, it’s your responsibility to maintain a positive attitude in your chat and lead by example.
- Keep it clean. Foul language and inappropriate content can quickly turn people off. To create a welcoming environment for all ages, make sure that your chat stays free of any explicit language or content.
- No spamming. Nobody likes getting bombarded with multiple messages in a row. Keep your chat free of irrelevant or repetitive comments and encourage your viewers to start meaningful conversations.
- No hate speech or bullying. Discrimination of any kind has no place in your chat. Make it clear that anyone who engages in this kind of behavior will not be tolerated in your community.
- No self-promotion. Shameless plugs and constant self-promotion can alienate your audience. Remind your audience not to spam self-promotions in the chat (though you may allow certain exceptions if they’re relevant to your stream content).
Remember that these rules are not set in stone and may need to be modified to fit the needs and culture of your specific community. As your channel grows, be open to feedback and adjust your chat rules accordingly. By doing so, you’ll create a positive environment that fosters engagement and growth on your Twitch channel.
How to Set Twitch Chat Rules for Your Stream
When you’ve worked out what you want your chat rules to be, you can set them by doing the following:
- Open your Creator Dashboard and expand the Moderation sub-menu on the left.
- Scroll down to the Channel Privileges section and look for the Chat Rules box.
- Type in your Chat Rules.
Your Twitch chat rules will appear in a pop-up for first-time viewers of your stream. They must accept your rules in order to participate in your chat.
You may have noticed that you can set your chat rules to be whatever you want them to be. That means you’re free to build your community however you want. But how do you ensure users adhere to these rules? In the next section, we’ll talk about the various ways you can enforce your Twitch chat rules.
Along with setting up your chat rules directly on Twitch we also recommend having a section within your panels section that reiterate the rules.
Enforcing Chat Rules on Twitch
Once you have established your chat rules and made them clear to your audience, it’s time to start enforcing them.
There are several moderation tools available on Twitch that can help you enforce chat rules effectively. For example, you can use auto-moderation tools to automatically catch and hide certain words or phrases that violate your chat rules. Additionally, you can assign moderators to your chat who can identify and punish users who violate your rules.
Picking, Training, and Empowering Your Moderators
Moderators are users that grant special authority to administer punishments on your behalf.
At the start, you may not even need mods. If you have no issues managing your chat as you play, then you probably don’t need mods yet. As your channel grows and your viewer count increases, you’ll find it harder and harder to keep chat civil on your own without sacrificing the quality of your stream. That’s when it’s time to get a bit of backup.
When choosing moderators for your chat, it’s important to pick individuals who are reliable, trustworthy, and who share your vision for a positive community. Train your moderators on your specific rules and expectations, and empower them to take swift action when necessary.
To add a user as a mod, simply type /vip username into your chat (replace username with the name of the user you want to mod). You can also view a list of all your mods by typing /mods in chat.
There’s no one right way to recruit mods. Some streamers like to hold open applications for mods, allowing viewers to volunteer themselves either on stream or through an online form service like Google Forms. Others like to recruit from their most dedicated viewers or the ones they’ve developed relationships with. Develop your own process for recruitment based on the type of community you want to build around your channel.
Your mod onboarding process is key. Once you’ve picked your mods, you need to be sure you’re all on the same page. Prepare a template for an onboarding message that you can send to newly recruited mods. At the very least, your onboarding message should cover these main points:
- All your channel chat rules. If necessary, go over each rule in detail — there’s no such thing as going overboard here. You want your mods to be consistent with how they wield their powers, so make sure each mod is fully aware of how the rules should be interpreted.
- Make it very clear how punishments work. What is a bannable offense? When should they mute a user?
- Describe the type of community you’re hoping to build. Talk about your target audience and the type of behavior and language you will and won’t allow.
- Remind them to look over the Twitch community guidelines. Whatever your own channel’s chat rules may be, they cannot run afoul of Twitch’s own guidelines. Your mods should know the guidelines by heart.
Try and avoid recruiting too many mods. This can lead to what is called the “mod wall” or the “wall of swords”, which is when mods dominate the chat. When this happens, it can be intimidating to newcomers and even cause some to leave your stream. As a general rule of thumb, Twitch suggests having a mod for every 200 or so viewers, though you may need more or fewer depending on how active your chat is.
Using Twitch’s Built-in AutoMod
Streamers can use Twitch’s own AutoMod tool to help filter out risky messages.
There are four levels of AutoMod. The higher the level, the more aggressive the AutoMod is at filtering out unwanted messages.
AutoMod does not punish users who send messages with risky or offensive language. It cannot ban, mute, or timeout users. What it does is hold any violating messages so that it doesn’t appear in your chat. You or a mod must approve the message before it is displayed.
To activate AutoMod, follow these steps:
- Go to your Creator Dashboard. Click Preferences, then click Moderation.
- Look for the AutoMod Controls section. Click AutoMod Rulesets.
- Click Turn on AutoMod to activate AutoMod for your stream.
By default, AutoMod starts at Level 1. You can manually set the level of moderation from the AutoMod Rulesets section in the settings menu.
Most channels will benefit from having AutoMod activated. Certain communities with looser chat rules may want to keep it off, though.
Advanced Auto-moderation with Modbots
Every Twitch stream should have a mod bot. Even if you have a great mod team, you’ll still want a bot to help manage your stream’s viewers.
As your viewer base grows, it becomes harder and harder for your mods to keep track of every message during your stream. At some point, an unwanted comment is going to slip through the cracks. In the case of discriminatory language and hate speech, there could be very dire consequences for your stream. Having a mod bot also frees up your mod team for other, more fun work, like fielding questions from viewers or handling giveaways.
Some of the most common mod bots include Moobot, Nightbot, and Wizebot. They all have similar mod capabilities but differ in their extra functionalities, like Spotify support and game integration. Research their features and choose the one that best fits your needs.
There are several different types of punishments you can use for users who break your chat rules. These punishments can range from timeouts to permanent bans, depending on the severity of the offense. It’s important to be consistent and fair in your punishment process to ensure that your viewership and community are not negatively affected.
In some cases, it may be appropriate to temporarily or permanently ban users who refuse to comply with your chat rules. However, it’s important to give users the opportunity to reform and learn from their mistakes before taking such drastic action.
Enforcing Twitch chat rules is crucial for maintaining a healthy and positive community on your stream. Use the available moderation tools and consistently enforce your rules to ensure that viewership and community can thrive on your channel. Be fair and consistent in your approach, and empower your moderators to help you maintain a welcoming and inclusive environment for all.
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