82 votesAnonymous responded
This poses a couple of hard problems. We’ll look for feedback on these points in comments before declining.
1) IPs change. A lot. A broadcaster might lose a significant portion of their audience, and viewers might get confused if there are a lot of banned IPs (such as universities).
2) System load. Looking up a enormous list of IPs to see who is allowed to watch on every single video play is an enormous system load I’m not sure we’re willing to take on.
3) Support costs. “Why can’t I watch X/Y/Z, I don’t know who they are” would come up. Our support isn’t free, and we’d like to be able to focus on issues like passwords, bugs, etc.
So this hasn't been mentioned yet, but there are other reasons why IP bans are rather useless against dedicated trolls. People can mask their original IP address behind VPNs and proxy servers, or by using such as Tor to hide their original IP address.
IP bans are not a magic silver bullet. Sometimes they might stop a troll dead in his tracks, but it won't stop all trolls competely.
If the Twitch devs won't implement this feature because banning IP addresses is hard, then I have a different solution. Instead of playing whack-a-mole by banning specific IP addresses, just ban ALL users that match a certain criteria that doesn't depend on IP address. See proposal here https://twitch.uservoice.com/forums/310201-chat-messaging/suggestions/10151265-give-channels-the-ability-to-ban-all-recently-crea
Uh, I forgot to add my reasoning to my last comment. I wanted to add that, although a temporary ban wouldn't stop a troll completely, it could be used to make it significantly harder for them to troll, at the cost of a slight(?) inconvenience to non-troll users at a certain IP address.
Rather than permanently banning an IP address from using chat, whispering people, and creating new accounts, how about using a *temporary* ban, such as a day? Anyone trying to sign up for a new account at the banned IP address would see a message displayed that goes something along the lines of
> This IP address is blocked from creating new accounts for the next X hours due to recent abuse.
Stack Exchange frequently uses rate-limiting of various activities from certain IP addresses and users,
and those are only *a few* of the posts their about it.
If you have 10 troll accounts that are 6 months old, then just ban 10 troll accounts. Done, won't have to be bothered by the same troll until X days/weeks/months later.
If this gets implemented, it would also be really helpful to streamers if statistics were provided on what their typical random viewer looks like. Like demographic data, but instead of being about human age, gender, etc, it would be about what the distribution of **account** ages are, and what the distribution of ages are for accounts that end of getting chat-banned.
Providing that "demographic" data would allow streamers to make more informed decisions about how old a new account has to be before it's allowed to chat in the streamer's channel.
If you want to give broadcasters even more fine-grained control, also give them the option of specifying how old an account has to be before being allowed to chat, like 1 week, 2 weeks, etc.
Regarding Olle's comment,
"i am against this, not everyone wants to give out their phone number",
you already have to give Twitch your phone number if you want to use 2-factor authentication, which you should be using if you value keeping your account safe from hackers and social engineers.
If someone doesn't have a phone, then they don't make an account. How many people don't have access to a phone? I don't have the numbers, but it's probably not a very high percentage, and probably not high enough to justify *not* implementing this.
Also, rate-limit the number of times that a phone number can be used to verify a new account beyond just the X times per year.
For example, say that you can only verify new accounts 3 times per year using the same phone number. In addition to that, make it so that you can't verify a new account using the same number if that number was previously used in the last 24 hours.
So there would be 2 types of rate-limiting for account verification using a phone number:
1. The phone number cannot be used to verify a new account if it was previously used for verification in the last 24 hours.
2. The phone number can only be used to verify new accounts X times in total per year.
Also, if a troll get a chat ban from a broadcaster like Total Biscuit, for example, and then requests for his account to be deleted, and then makes a new account with the same phone number (or email) used to verify the previous account, then the **new** account should also inherit the same chat ban from the old account.
This is an anti-recidivism system that Stack Exchange/Overflow employs to great effect, which you can read about at
There's already a proposal for banning IP addresses, and the devs say it's hard to do, for various reasons: https://twitch.uservoice.com/forums/310201-chat-messaging/suggestions/7956255-ip-ban-from-channel.
Not implementing this feature just because some fans like to make new accounts for fun or as a joke just seems a little silly. I mean, sure, they lose out on a little fun, but then you're making it easier for trolls to harass streamers. It's give and take. Non-malicious users already have an account, it's not like you're banning them from making any accounts period.
Plus, it's only 1 whole day! Your fans can't wait a single day to begin chatting with a new account? Again, that's just silly.
I should mention, however, that I also suggested that streamers be given more options for how old an account must be before being allowed to chat in their channel, such as a week, or 2 weeks, etc.
It would be a pretty significant deterrence for persistent trolls if accounts younger than 1 or 2 weeks weren't allowed to chat in streamer X's channel.
I made a very similar request asking to give streamers the option of blocking chat from all users whose accounts are X days old...yeah, it's basically the same as your request here.
I don't see this as ever being implemented by Twitch. First of all, it will increase their support costs, because people will get hellbanned, and then they'll complain to Twitch asking why chat doesn't seem to work.
And what about people who end up being banned for relatively minor infractions, like accidentally using too many CAPS in a message? You'll end up hellbanning users who are otherwise well-behaved, and they won't have any clue about it, which ends up being a really *terrible* user experience.
What you're asking for is commonly known as a Hellban: http://blog.codinghorror.com/suspension-ban-or-hellban/.
I've been asking for more anti-troll features as well, if you want to check them out, they're linked in my feedback history in my profile.
If this gets implemented, it should be **optional**. Maybe some streamers don't want to constantly be bombarded with notifications for new messages, especially not while they're streaming, and especially not from troll users.
I can see this as only being useful to people who are frequently banned from many chat rooms. Most well-behaved users on Twitch don't receive chat bans, and in the rare instances that they do, they could probably easily figure out which 1 or 2 channels that they need to send a polite message to, requesting to be unbanned.
So basically, it's mostly only toxic users (even trolls) who would benefit from a feature like this.
Looks like this is basically the same request as https://twitch.uservoice.com/forums/310201-chat-messaging/suggestions/7956255-ip-ban-from-channel.