Let’s be honest, you didn’t come to a Twitch stream to feel like you’re in the library of your middle school again. I always had the worst librarians in my school, who made sure I suffered and squashed any idea of fun as soon as it materialized. In so many chats that I’ve been in, it honestly feels like that with the way mods swing their mod hammers around. Now I get it, you want to keep trolls out and you want to make sure everyone can enjoy themselves. But this does not mean you need to ban every single person that slightly trolls or asks why people are getting banned. I see so many mods that ban at the very hint of sarcasm, a joke, or asking a legitimate question that might come across as trolling. This trend needs to stop. We are talking about someone playing a video game, not going to Church on Sunday.
Now I realize that there are certain boundaries that viewers can’t cross when it comes to derogatory things people say. I’m not asking you to ignore people that use those kind of remarks. But the majority of those that come in just want attention and if you handle it poorly your actual viewers will notice. You’re basically sending a message to your normal viewers that “I can’t take a joke, and if you joke around ever so slightly, you could be next.” Don’t do this. I’ve made it clear in past articles, there are thousands of streams. If you have 20 different rules that I have to keep in order to not get bopped, I’ll go somewhere I can actually have fun watching someone play a game. If you’re cool with having a small chat that follows all of your guidelines that’s cool. Just don’t start complaining about why your stream doesn’t grow.
While having an overly strict group of mods can be bad, having an overly lax group can be just as bad. I’ll be 100% honest here; I don’t necessarily follow this rule quite well. I tend to mod a lot of my friends just so I know when they are talking or watching my stream. This is very dangerous because the majority of these type of mods are mods by name only. They don’t do anything and when they do it tends to cause a lot of trouble! While I normally have no issues when my mods want to have fun and spam a little bit here and there, there comes a time where you have to take control and tell them to chill out.
If you are having mods that are constantly trolling and relentlessly spamming terrible memes (good memes are fine), the chat will follow suit and your chat will become terrible. I’m all about having fun and the banter, but you also want a chat that allows interaction to happen. This is the danger of modding someone just because you are friends.
Every once in a while I think it’s important to hit the restart button on your stream when it comes to your chat. Go through your mod list every few months and demod users who you believe aren’t helping maintain a chat you are proud of. Those who get demodded may get mad, but just explain to them your reasoning and how it shouldn’t be taken personal. Sometimes people overvalue being a mod and might get offended. That’s why it’s so important who you mod from the start. I’ve had so many regrets when certain people turned out to be horrible mods and I had to go through the process of demodding them and the dumb drama that came afterwards.
I also encourage users to have a mass unbanning every few months as well. Using the BetterTTV plug-in, you can do a command that unbans everyone that has ever been banned in your stream. People make mistakes and almost no one deserves to be banned for eternity due to one mistake that happened a year ago. This gives those who made those mistakes a second chance.
At the end of the day you have to handle your mod team as you see fit. If you’re okay with a super strict chat and would rather just keep the chat small and controlled, by all means go for it. If you’d rather have a chat that’s catered around a group of friends that just want to chill and goof off that’s perfectly fine as well. Just realize that at the end of the day any decisions that your mods will make will have a direct effect on you and your stream.
I remember when there were many issues at Twitch with admins that were over-abusing their powers. Sure those admins took some heat, but it ultimately came back to Twitch for having these people in any sort of position of power. Your stream works the same way so be careful when you’re choosing your mod team. So next time you are about to mod someone, think about how that decision will pay off.
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