Here’s an update that was quietly released late last week – Twitter-owned Periscope has announced new, harsher punishments for accounts which violate its rules as it seeks to crack down on inappropriate content on the live-stream platform.
As explained by Twitter:
“Chatting on live video should be safe for both broadcasters and viewers, so that everyone is empowered to join the conversation without fear of abuse. As part of our ongoing effort to build a safer service, we’re launching more aggressive enforcement of the guidelines related to chats sent during live broadcasts. […] Starting on August 10, we will review and suspend accounts for repeatedly sending chats that violate our guidelines. If you are in a broadcast and see a chat that may violate our guidelines, please report it.”
While Twitter has regularly been criticized for failing to reduce the impacts of trolls and abuse on its main platform, Periscope has also been a problematic area - though with fewer people using it, the noise around the issue has not been as significant.
But many people have raised concerns – prominent live-stream advocate Geoff Goldberg has regularly called on Twitter to offer better protection for women and minors (among other issues), while the dangers of live-streaming have even been covered by mainstream news outlets, particularly in regards to the comments young women regularly see on their content.
It’s pretty easy to get some perspective on the problem – go watch any live Periscope from any female streamer and watch the comments and it won’t take long to see something offensive.
Given this, it’s good to see Twitter taking a stronger stand on the issue - and while the new process still relies on user reports, given that the comments come through in real-time, there’s not a heap more Twitter can do, other than making their punishments even harsher (immediate full bans for blatant violations).
It’s not perfect, and there are still various other issues with Periscope (this post from Kerry Flynn provides a good overview of the concerns), but it is good to see Twitter taking action, and seeking to add more protection for live-stream users.