Here's an idea...stop randomly locking users out of chat to harvest phone data
It has been two weeks since Twitch locked my account out of chat and told me they require a mobile number to unlock it.
I was asked to submit a ticket and the first response I received said
"Please note that Twitch Support is unable to bypass the need for phone verification on your behalf. If phone verification is enabled by the creator and you are not exempt, you must complete the verification in order to chat."
I had already confirmed with the streamers that they did not change any verification settings. Even if they had, it would mean that a) every streamer on the platform decided to do it on the same day and b) the setting either did not affect every viewer, or the other viewers were lying about not having added a phone number.
I had some of this information in the original ticket, but I replied making note of it again.
The next reply said they would investigate further. After a week I asked for an update and was told no update was available.
After another week I asked again and got a reply that was almost identical to the first one. This time, though, they did not try to blame it directly on the streamers. It was mentioned that streamers have the option to turn phone verification on, but that
"We want to keep chat safe and fun for everyone! So sometimes we require users to verify their account with a mobile phone number before participating in chat. You'll only need to complete this verification once to chat across Twitch."
So, the only conclusion I can draw is that Twitch is selecting random accounts and requiring mobile verification. Possibly as a test for requiring it of ALL accounts at some point.
For now, though, their excuse makes no sense. Randomly selecting accounts does nothing to "keep chat safe and fun for everyone". Anyone who was really using chat to spam or break rules can just create a new account and poof restrictions are gone.
The only effects this random requirement has are
--harvest more personal data from some users
--effectively steal subscription active time until the user gives in verifies a number
--lock users without a mobile phone out of chat with no options
I know some people don't mind giving Twitch a phone number. We are so used to companies collecting whatever information they want anymore. But I think we should all be a little concerned about where this is going. Why does Twitch want the additional data when it does nothing to "keep chat safe and fun for everyone"? The only explanations right now are as a test to see the impact if they require it of all accounts or because they monetize our data and they can get more value from accounts with phone numbers attached.