Twitch stops pay channel increases after people pay to put porn on the front page

In October 2021, Twitch began testing a new feature that allowed viewers to pay money to boost a streamer’s channel to the front page of the site in order to give them greater exposure. That experiment came to an end, at least for now, as the troublemakers were taking advantage of the system to push pornography to the top of the pile.

Boosting originally debuted in December 2020 using free channel points, gathered by viewers during Community Challenges. “Once a raise challenge is successfully completed, we will promote your stream on highly visible parts of Twitch, such as ‘Live Channels We Think You’ll Like,'” said the Frequently Asked Questions about Boost This Stream explains. “Promoting your broadcast helps improve your visibility and reach new audiences.”

Paid raises, first announced in September 2021, work the same way, except real money is involved. Unlike channel points, which are earned by following and watching channels, the only limiting factor with paid raises is how much a person is willing to spend. Streamers themselves can also pay for the raise, effectively allowing them to buy their way to the front page (or at least contribute to the effort).

The plan was not universally well-received: Many people expressed concern that the system would favor channels that are already popular, as they would be in a better position to pay their way to the top. And unlike cheerleading or channel subscriptions, streamers didn’t make money from paid raises: all the money went to Twitch.

View more

Still, the program went ahead, until yesterday, March 30th, when users of the twitter and reddit started noticing live channels on the porn streaming front page. It was clear that the channels in question were being boosted to the front page as they were branded with a “streamer community promoted” label.

“Looks like determined trolls are literally paying bills with Boost Train access… tweeted.

(Image credit: Twitch (via thenoosh22))

A Twitch representative confirmed that the Boost Train experiment was paused due to some security-related issues that came up during testing. Specific reasons for the discontinuation were not provided, nor did Twitch say if the show could be returned in some modified form in the future, but updates on new features intended to improve channel discoverability will be shared when they become available.

Thanks, esports point.

Leave a Comment