Mod beginners

A Foreword
There isn’t much information on how to moderate livestreams put out by the websites themselves so it is on everyone to learn as they go, or get taught by other moderators. However say there is someone who is new to moderation but has no one to look up to or learn from, that is why this project goes into deep details on even some of the smallest stuff. The main write-up of this document is done by ZeroHearts, with main feedback and help from Wrexneck, as well as input from many other moderators from various streaming platforms.
This whole moderation guide can be found as a cohesive site here where it is broken up into different pages to make it more accessible. As livestreams become a bigger part of our world the role of moderator becomes far more needed, and with no real guide as to how to moderate streams out there, we wanted to change that. This guide is designed by moderators of many partnered Twitch streamers so it will be mostly based around Twitch features with (hopefully more as time goes on) feedback from so many other moderators across both Twitch and YouTube.
 
Table of Contents
Getting Started 

  • What a Moderator Is
  • Getting to Know Your Streamer
  • Understanding Your Limits
  • Your Mentality

Tips and Tricks 

  • Communication is Key
  • Spotting Problem Users
  • Streamer Representation
  • Moderator Density
  • Stream Attendance
  • Be Fair, Unbiased, and Consistent

Community Guidelines and ToS 

  • No Minors
  • Ban/Suspension Evasion
  • Reporting a ToS Breaker

Twitch Crash Course 

  • Affiliate vs Partner
  • Bits, Donations, and Subscriptions/Members
  • VIPs
  • Chat Log
  • Automod
  • Hosts and Raids
  • Categories, Games, and Tags
  • Teams
  • Chat Modes
  • Extensions
  • Ghost Viewers and Lurkers
  • Special Users in Chat

Major Issues 

  • Doxing
  • DDosing
  • Longtime Supporters
  • Reasons to Ban
  • Ban Evading

Moderation Tools 

  • Chatty
  • Better Twitch
  • FrankerFaceZ
  • Bots
  • Modch.at
  • Strawpoll
  • Whispers

Networking

  • Make Friends
  • Streaming as a Symbiotic Relationship
  • Be Active in Your Communities
  • External Interactions

Resources 

  • Twitch Documentation
  • Mixer Documentation
  • YouTube Documentation
  • Misc Resources and Documentation

 
Getting Started
When it comes to modding there are a few basic things to understand especially if this is your first experience being some sort of community leader. Being a mod makes you an extension of the streamer and an important member in the community. The roles of moderators span different roles such as mediator, enforcer, and peacekeeper but they all have core ideas they draw from.
 
What a Moderator Is
The very first thing to understand when given this privilege is that you are an extension of the streamer whose chat you moderate. The shiny green sword (or wrench if you are on YouTube) is more than just a cosmetic item, it is a status symbol. It says to the viewers “I’m in charge if you need help come to me.” That being said, it is the best practice to be a friendly, helpful, yet stern assistant. A streamer with a negative or out of control mod team may drive many viewers away, and to grow a flourishing community you need people.
It is important to understand that the way you and the streamer act will determine the demographics of chat. You do not want to breed a negative community. Think of it this way: you are a leader, act in a way you want the community to follow, because they will. 
Also keep in mind that while you do play a big part in streams, ultimately the stream is the streamers. You have to follow their personal guidelines and what they say goes in the end of the day. This does not mean you can’t suggest other ideas or contest some, but if they are adamant about something you don’t feel comfortable with, that stream may not be the place for you.
 
Getting to Know Your Streamer
To be an effective help to your streamer, you need to understand their rules, wants, and needs when it comes to their chat as well as their stream. It is highly suggested that if you are a mod fresh on the team to meet with the other moderators and your streamer to have a conversation to learn these things. Being a mod for someone is a relationship, just like being a friend or more. You need to understand each other and find the best ways to combat the problems you will face together. Not only this but you may have a team of mods with you especially if the streamer is of a larger size which you should get to know, make friends with and learn to work well together. Communication is your friend.
For example, some rules that some streamers may have in place, are like trying to keep chats PG or PG13. Streamers like Direwolf20 want to keep their streams PG as they want to provide a learning and growing environment for younger people. Then there are people like The8BitDrummer who likes to keep his chat PG13 and doesn’t swear very much if at all and doesn’t play any music on his stream with swear words in it.
 
Understand Your Limits
It is important to remember, especially when you feel overwhelmed, you are still human. (Unless you are Automod reading this, in which I ask…. how?) You have your own needs, life, and it is okay to not always be there for the stream. Something many of us have learned the hard way is that you need to take breaks. You should have at least one or two teammates to work with which you can schedule times to relax. Again, Communication is key in these situations, because being open with your team and streamer helps you not overload yourself.
It gets hard to really remember that this is not a job in which you need to focus your life on especially when you are new into moderating chats. This applies not only because many of you may be in school or have a job, but you need to know that there isn’t much money in moderating if any at all. Some streamers who are at the top may have full-time mods, people who they trust to keep their chats controlled when they have hundreds if not thousands of viewers, but this is not the normal case.
This being said, sometimes moderating feels like it’s looked at as a thankless job. It is important to remember that not only are you getting very useful experience in the world of dealing with people, but you are also helping what should hopefully be a friend grow and bring you along with them. Don’t let people dissuade you from continuing your work being a leader in the community. Think of it as a symbiotic relationship, (we will dive more into this topic in the Networking section of this document). If in the end, you find out that moderating isn’t really for you, there is nothing wrong in expressing that feeling, and “retiring” if you feel it is necessary.
 
Your Mentality
When getting into moderating it is good to reflect on your personal value and habits. Learn who you are when it comes to handling situations and people. Sit down and think about, or better yet, write down YOUR standards for who you want to be, how you want to hold yourself and understand your personal ethics. Make sure that when looking into who you want to be that your streamer fits in who you want to be if you have to act in a way you find that makes you uncomfortable make sure to express your feelings. You will always need to grow and adapt for any job you do, but you also need to understand that you also have limits. If the streamers someone mods forever told them to troll or make fun of someone, or went too far themselves in doing it, might be worth sitting down and re-evaluating if that streamer is the right fit for them.
You need to be able and willing to accept proper criticisms as well. People grow when they are given criticism, especially when they listen and fix their faults. However, you must learn the difference between constructive criticism and just negative comments. Constructive criticism is given to help you learn and grow to fix something you may have done wrong and should be accompanied by suggestions and examples, whereas negative comments are just said to put you down. Some users may claim things such as favoritism, while others will provide actual criticisms on how things in chat may be handled. You should always make sure to hear people out unless they are just complaining to complain. There is a good quote by an American politician and lawyer from the late 1800s that explains constructive criticism well:
Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man’s growth without destroying his roots.” – Frank A. Clark
However, if you find yourself bogged down by people who just like to sling negative comments towards you, it is best to listen to see if there is something they aren’t saying that needs to be tended to. They may just be trying to bring you down, but there also might be a reason they are upset, and in a way, you will be able to find constructive criticisms in negativity. For instance, if people keep getting away with a certain behavior that may fly under the radar that also allows others to act the same way in a more upfront manner, there is an underlying issue. Also if multiple people come at you or the streamer with the same negative comments about the community or the streamer themselves (not including just trolling or things based on the streamer’s demographic) it should be worth trying to understand what is going on.
Through this as well it is good to have a thick skin, and not let the negativity of others really bring you down. This is the internet we are talking about, the place where people feel safe to treat others like dirt since there is this anonymity you can hide behind. If someone is just trying to cause trouble, time them out, if they come back and continue to do it many streamers and mods would find this the time when a ban is in order.
Lastly, do remember to stay humble. This goes for anyone, big or small, you all started in the same place and should remember everyone is human. Some people get big heads when they get big (especially if it grows quickly) and they sometimes lose sight of how they got there and may lose who they are and want to be. It is easy to feel above others when you are in any place of power, but always remember, you are just a viewer like everyone else, you just are holding the responsibility of making sure chat stays in one piece.
 
Tips and Tricks
Here are some tips and tricks to moderation as well as things to try and avoid and take into account. 
 
Communication is Key
To be the most effective team when it comes to moderation, you need to work together and the best way to do that is to have great communication between the moderators and the streamer. Some of the best channels of communication are Discord chats, whether they be DMs or a private channel in a server only the mods and streamer can see. Make good habits into speaking with your streamer and team well before streams, especially if you will be unable to make the stream to moderate. It is even more important to speak with your streamer on a frequent basis if they don’t have a set streaming schedule and getting into a habit of always knowing when they might want to stream.
Discord is a fantastic tool that users can use outside of Twitch to plan and talk with each other. You can make plans for future streams as well as let people know in a more private place about issues or the potential of missing stream. We highly suggest setting up a Discord server or channel in a server for communication between the mod team and the streamer as well.  More on the app itself down in the Moderation Tools section. 
Talking with your fellow moderators/streamer when planning for a stream is imperative to know who will be available to help out. Some streamers don’t really think about discussing with their mods, but like in the case with The8BitDrummer, he talks to his moderators in a voice chat before every stream to take care of everything before he goes live. If your streamer isn’t being very communicative, make the initiative and reach out to them to get some conversation going regarding streams. For a funny take on the issues that a lack of communication can cause, watch this short video by LLance (caution: profanity) that perfectly encapsulates the problems with no communication between the streamer and moderators.
 
Spotting Problem Users
There will always be trolls on the internet. This is just a fact of life that we have to live with, but sometimes it is very easy to spot the troll from a mile away. Names are big clues as to who the person is, as well as the first interactions in chat. It is never suggested to ban or time out any random person on sight based on a “hunch”, but you should keep a close eye on that user. Just some sketchy behavior to watch out for:

  • Streamer based names, especially after someone has been banned.
  • People coming in and clearly ignoring the rules and breaking them immediately. (You see the rules the first thing when you join a chat)
  • People clearly ignoring moderators and breaking the rules.
  • People posting links only.
  • People coming in to self promote.
  • People coming in and only complaining about (insert anything here) without actually contributing to the conversation.
  • People disrespecting others and getting upset if they get called out.
  • People who complain about getting timed out if they break the rules.
  • People who post sexist comments/sexual remarks/hate speech/etc.
  • Users whose account has only been made for a short amount of time.
    • New users aren’t always a problem, but many times people make alt accounts to troll.
    • On Twitch you can click on a user in chat and it will show the account creation date.


Streamer Representation
Be aware that you represent the streamer at all times. It doesn’t matter what platform you are on, as long as you have the same name/are known to be the same person you are representing your streamer. Make sure you treat everyone the same way you would in a chat in places like Discord servers, Twitter, Reddit, etc. If people see you acting like a fool in another streamer’s chat, that will show poorly on your streamer. On the other side of the coin, as a mod is the extension of a streamer, if the streamer isn’t a great person, that can be connected back to the mod.
 
Moderator Density
Also known as the “Mod wall”, it is important to know how many moderators are needed for the size of the stream a person has. If you feel there are far too many mods in the stream, discuss it with the team and your streamer. You don’t want to bury the regular chatters in the sea of green swords, especially if that sea is due to mods not being hit by the spam filter. The bigger issue exists here, as some mods may spam or drown other users out. It is easier to see someone with a sword than someone without to read their message as well. Normal users can’t post as many messages as they want generally in a chat in a small amount of time, but moderators can, so it is important not to abuse that power.
 
Stream Attendance
It is okay to not show up especially if your mental health is in jeopardy, do not feel pressured to show up to every stream. If you are one of the only people who show up on a regular basis, speak with your team and streamer. There should be more than just you in any stream at the same time no matter what, especially if you want to make sure you aren’t the only one pulling the weight. As most moderators stream for free, it is important to remember that you are doing this because you want to and if you have other things going on it’s alright to miss streams. If the streamer gets upset at you over missing streams, you might want to find somewhere else to help out.
Be Fair, Unbiased, and Consistent
We know it’s hard to time out or even ban your friends. For the most part, most people want to let some things slide due to friendships, influential people in the community, etc. It is important however that you are never biased towards a user. If someone is doing something that is clearly against the rules, no matter who they are it is your duty to address that situation. If the moderators for a streamer are seen to be biased, that puts a bad light on the streamer as well.
Always keep a level head when dealing with situations. Sometimes confronting problems might spike your adrenaline and make you quick to react. Do remember though that rash decisions especially in the heat of the moment can lead to bigger issues.  
This goes into the discussion of longtime supporters which we discuss in the Major Issues section, as well as others on your moderation team as well. People shouldn’t have preferential treatment given to them if they are making the chat a worse place for more users to be in, and it really shows when a mod might time one person out for something but lets someone else get by without acting on them.
 
Community Guidelines and ToS
 
When getting into the understandings of streaming whether it’s modding a stream or streaming yourself, it is good to read and understand the site you moderate ons Terms of Service (or ToS) and their Community Guidelines. While each site has differences in their legal documentation, they are pretty simple when broken down to help the user have an easy time reading what is and isn’t allowed on the site. It will only take a short amount of time to through them but they are powerful tools especially to a moderator to help keep chat ruly and under control.

  • Twitch
  • Mixer
    • ToS
    • Community Guidelines
    • Mixer also has a lot of other helpful guides that are worth a read if you want to get better at moderation as a whole. They can all be found here.
  • YouTube
    • While YouTube as a whole has far more than just streaming, there is a lot more to their Terms than what needs to be read into, but their Community Guidelines are pretty strong and worth a read.
    • ToS
    • Community Guidelines

There are some major points to pull out of all of these, and they span all sorts of streaming platforms so none are truly platform specific. We will be focused on how they are implemented on Twitch as we are more familiar with that side of things. 
 
No Minors
This is specifically more for Twitch and Mixer. Something that is worth mentioning as discussed in the ToS is the use of streaming services by minors. It is against the ToS of Twitch and Mixer to use the service under the age of 13, that being said there is nothing that can stop them. Especially when it comes to the summertime, the chats get flooded with many minors off school for break. While most people know how to keep themselves controlled, some kids tend to think it is cool to share that they are under the age of 13. While you should report them to Twitch under their terms, many people might not, but it is at least important to let them know (whispers work) that they are breaking the ToS and to not advertise their age in chats. Many of the users you run into creating multiple spam accounts after being banned are minors and act up due to their age.
 
Ban/Suspension Evasion
Will go into more detail in the Major Issues section, but if a user evades a ban or suspension by “using other accounts, identities, personalities, or presence on another user’s account”, they can get suspended for far longer from Twitch itself, to even an indefinite suspension from the services.
 
Reporting a ToS Breaker
Reporting someone for ban evading, being a minor, or anything else in the ToS should only be done when there is definitive proof. People have been falsely reported for underage jokes (which should be avoided) in some communities that have gotten their accounts suspended from Twitch until appealed. To report a ToS breaker on Twitch, you need to click on their name, click the three vertical dots in the bottom right, and go to report. There is a whole guide into how it works here that goes into far more detail. Here is a guide for reporting on Mixer.
 
Twitch Crash Course
 
Understanding Twitch and its site is helpful not only to streamers but to the moderators that handle their chats. There are many built-in features that help not only the quality of life of users but also just make the overall site a fantastic way to grow your community and network.
 
Affiliate vs Partner
Affiliates and Partners are two of the three types of streamers out there, and the two that are technically employed and paid by Twitch. Affiliate is an easier rank to reach and gives a user some of the same avenues to make money as Partners do, but have fewer features than Partners have. Partners get more preferred treatment from Twitch, but Affiliates still get many of the features that Partners get. You can read more about Partners here and Affiliates here.
 
Bits, Donations, and Subscriptions/Members
Many streamers have links setup under their streams mostly through a site called Streamlabs that allows viewers to donate them money to support the streamer. It is very imperative to mention in your donation explanation that there are no refunds, as some users like to abuse the refunding feature through PayPal to cost the streamer more money dealing with chargebacks.
When you hit either the rank of Affiliate or Partner, you get access to the features of Bits and subs. These are ways to make money that is paid through Twitch, as they are Twitch based payments. Subscriptions have three tiers, a $5, $10, and $25 tier of recurring payments to the streamer. Twitch does, however, take a cut of the profits, and depending on whichever contract you have with Twitch depends on how much the cut is.
Subscriptions give users the ability to use channel specific emotes added by the streamer in the chat as well as all over Twitch. Subscriptions can also be gifted by other users to someone with the user gifting paying for just a one-month subscription that does not recur.
Memberships are the YouTube version of Twitch’s tier one $5 subscriptions. This is done not by subscribing (as YouTube has that for following a channel) but by “Joining” a channel.
 
Bits

  • Twitch based currency and can be purchased through Twitch itself.
  • Used for donating to streamers in a “cheer”.
  • 1 bit = 1 cent to the streamer.
  • 100 bits costs the user $1.40 USD, so twitch gets 40 cents on the dollar for bits.
    • If you buy bits in a bigger number the price gets better.

 
VIPs
VIPs users are a new feature added to twitch as of November of 2018. They are users given a role by the streamer who can bypass most of the channel’s chat settings. Things like slow, sub only, or followers only chat modes, message limits are bypassed by the VIP role as well as gives the ability to post links.
 
Automod
Automod is a feature built into Twitch that is your first line of defense when it comes to your chat. You can read the extensive details here, but here’s a quick rundown of what it does. Protects your chat from harmful comments and words your streamer (or you) can set and edit at any time.

  • Mostly blocks hate speech, sexually explicit language, aggressive and hostile language, as well as profanity.
  • Includes a whitelist and a blacklist for words and phrases to block/unblock based on what your streamer accepts in chat.
  • Will block the messages appearing in chat, but for moderators it will show the message and you can approve or deny it from being posted.
  • Has multiple levels of moderation for how severe chat needs to be checked for blocked words.

Mods have the ability to add, edit, or remove words from the stream’s blacklisted words. You can access this by clicking the gear icon in the bottom left of chat then going to “Manage Moderation Settings” then clicking “Blocked Terms And Phrases”. This is useful for easily stopping a set word or phrase from ever appearing in chat again on the fly.
Chat Log
Recently Twitch has added the ability to moderators to view a user’s entire chat log in a channel. When you click on a user’s name, it will display how many messages the user has sent in the channel, the number of timeouts and bans, as well as a place for moderators of a channel to leave comments for each other.
 
These new features are very useful as they can let you go back through the user’s history to see if they are someone that is a constant trouble maker especially if you are a new moderator. More information on these new features added can be found here.
 
Hosts and Raids
Hosting a user is what happens when a streamer wants to send their viewers on to another streamers stream. This generally happens after their stream is over or if they are having difficulties and need to get things working again. This can be done from in the chat by typing /host (username) or from going to said streamers channel and using the host button on their stream. When a user sends their viewers over in a bigger number, they can be known as a raid.
By typing /raid (username) in your chat, you can send your viewers onto another stream, which is generally accompanied by a raid message. Something that a streamer may say before they send over their viewers to show another streamer the support of their community.
At this time there is no real built-in way to raid others on YouTube so we will stick to Twitch for now.
 
Autohost
Autohosting is something that a streamer may set up for people that they enjoy watching or that they want to support. You may add multiple people to your autohost list, and it will automatically host (or make your stream show another user’s stream) when you are not streaming yourself. If multiple people on your autohost list, it will host in descending order, so whoever is at the top of the host list will always have first priority, and then it goes from there.
 
Categories, Games, and Tags
When finding the audience to watch your channel, it is good to understand how to utilize features like categories, games, and tags. Categories and games fall into the same section, where you can pick what you are doing on your stream to be listed under that category when a user is searching for something to watch. 
Things like the new IRL tags (ASMR, Just chatting, Music, etc.) as well as any specific game you are playing fall under this section and are an easy way to be discovered for doing what you do. Tags, however, more fall under what type of stream you are doing and are set by Twitch, so you can’t make your own. These are mostly used to help a viewer decide if they want to watch a stream before they click on it. For example, say you are doing a playthrough and you are going for a 100% completion run, you could use the tag ‘100%’, or if you are playing alone you could use ‘Singleplayer’.
Teams
A team is a group of streamers, somewhat of a community that is user-driven, mostly used to help people grow. You have to be invited to a team and they provide some benefits to streamers, however, make sure not to get taken advantage of by any possibly toxic teams. More can be read about them here.
 
Chat Modes
There are a few modes built into Twitch that can help control chat when it may start to get out of hand, and they are all listed on this Twitch documentation. They are pretty self explanatory by name as well:

  • Follower Only Mode 
    • Activated with /followers (insert time length up to 3 months)
    • Only people who are following the channel for that specified length of time can talk in chat.
  • Sub Only Mode
    • Should only be used in extreme circumstances, and if your streamer isn’t a Twitch Affiliate or Partner, only them and the moderators will be able to talk in chat.
  • Slow Mode
    • Activated with /slow <number> where the number is how long users need to wait between messages to send another one in chat.
  • Emote Only Mode
    • Activated by /emoteonly
    • Makes it so only users other than moderators, VIPs and the streamer can only post emotes in chat.
  • R9K Mode 
    • The only weirdly named one. Activated by /r9kbeta.
    • This is a feature designed to stop repeated messages, like if users keep spamming the same things to get “noticed” or you have a toxic raid on your hands.
  • Clear Chat
    • Not really a chat mode, but is very helpful if chat has been hit with something like a toxic raid.
    • /Clear wipes the entire chat history up to 200 of the past lines.

 
Extensions
Extensions are applications built by devs working with the Twitch API to make applications that connect to the stream. Sometimes these work in panels in a streamers description, other times they work with the stream themselves and can provide functions to the stream. More can be read here.
 
Ghost Viewers and Lurkers
Ghost viewers are viewers who stay in a users stream after they are no longer streaming and can still be seen in a streamers user list. Sometimes they are bots, but other times they are just people who may have left the stream open. Lurkers, on the other hand, are users who may not want to talk in a chat but like to be in the streams these members will also show up in the user list.
 
Special Users in Chat
There are a lot of users who will stop by a channel no matter the size and it is important to not make the chat about them. Shouting them out or giving them some attention and talking to them is fine, but completely changing the conversation to be about them should be avoided. The main two groups who fall into this category are Twitch Staff and other partnered streamers.
Twitch staff are shown by the wrench icon that is beside their name. They are employees for Twitch and sometimes drop in and interact in peoples streams. While it can be exciting to see a staff member and interact with them in chat, they are most likely there to enjoy the stream like everyone else. They should be treated as a normal viewer unless they have explicitly stated that they are there for a different reason. 
Other partnered streamers will stop by from time to time in many streams for different reasons. It is exciting to see someone you may respect stopping by your stream you moderate but it is important to keep a level head and not 180 the conversation like mentioned before. Maybe they will drop by with a raid or host sometime on your streamer which would be very helpful for growing an audience, however focusing on them and bugging them constantly might push them away as well.
 
Major Issues
Doxing
Doxing is an illegal act when a viewer comes into stream and says something personal about the streamer that many shouldn’t know. This can range from the streamer’s real name if they don’t want that out there, to their address, number, etc. It doesn’t tend to happen to smaller streamers, but it is still a very real possibility. It can, however, be done in an accidental way, so make sure before you go ban crazy to check the situation. Someone who knows the streamer more personally can let slip some information that shouldn’t be public, which just deserves a quick timeout to erase the message. Other times people will go as far as to donate with something the streamer does not want to be public, which is yet another issue. Best way to handle this as a moderator is to report the users who are doing this intentionally to Twitch and banning them from the channel. They will most likely make more fake accounts to keep attacking the streamer so stay alert.
Things can come of Doxing from others or the same person who went out of their way to do it, such as pizzaing, SWATing, and other issues. Pizzaing is when someone will order a pizza with the streamer’s address (generally during their stream) and send it to their house without paying for it. SWATing is falsely reporting a major crime at the streamer’s house which can lead to someone getting injured or worse.
 
DDosing
Something less life-threatening than Doxing but is still a big issue is DDosing. DDosing is when someone gets ahold of your IP address and uses programs to send lots of information to your network to keep you from being able to use the internet. This has happened to people as well as companies in the past (PSN, Xbox Live, many streamers) and can really hurt streamers. There isn’t too much that can be done from a moderator’s situation, but checking the user list and seeing if there is anyone who has been a problem in the past lurking/boasting about it and taking the means to report them. Anything helps in situations like these and being focused on analyzing patterns in users when this is a recurring issue is very helpful. Mixer has a great document that explains Doxing and how to react in a situation like that which is well worth a read here.
 
Longtime Supporters 
There has been a lot of more open discussion of the issues that people have with some longtime supporters as of late. Whether it be following/donating/subscribing/or whatever, some users tend to feel invincible and that they can get away with anything in chat, which can turn a lot of other people off of the stream. Many streamers (and subsequently their moderators) have engaged in this discussion because it is hard to remove someone who may have been supporting for a long time, or with big donations. This ultimately has to fall onto the streamer’s decision, but most more prolific streamers are in the camp of they would rather have an enjoyable chat experience than a stagnant one for the sake of some toxic longtime supporters.
 
Toxic Raids
While raiding a streamer is generally done in a positive way to help grow their community or show support from one streamer to the other, there are people who will go on a toxic raid. People may form this raid party on or off Twitch, but they can bombard a chat with negative or toxic messages to try and bring down the streamer or chat itself. It is very easy to see when this happens, and who joined for the sole fact of participating in that and is simple enough to ban each user, as well as report them to Twitch.
 
Reasons to Ban
Banning is a very important tool that moderators have, not only as a defense tool but as a preventative one as well. If people act up and get banned, the people who have been watching closely in chat can see that sort of behavior got them banned and most likely will refrain from doing it as well. The reasons to ban are up to the discretion of the mod team and streamer themselves when it comes to the feel of the stream. Every streamer has different rules for their chat, and if people refuse to follow the rules, they need to be removed from chat. This doesn’t mean to ban anyone who breaks small rules a streamer might have (like no swearing), as a timeout would do just fine. However, if people continue the behavior they were timed out for, bans are in play too. So make sure to discuss with your streamer/mod team as to what crosses the line into ban territory for them, but there are also things that cross the line sitewide. Keep in mind, this list is not an extensive list of every reason to ban a user. In the end it is up to you, your mod team, and the streamer you moderate to communicate with each other and understand what they want and don’t want in their community. Some suggestions when it comes to what to be on the lookout for when it comes to people are such:

  • Generally, anything listed in the TOS and Community Guidelines are good things to look out for in chat.
  • People purposefully instigating arguments or trying to keep one going after it is clearly done.
  • When modding for a female streamer especially, people who try to make sexual advances, and post derogatory comments when they are turned down.
  • Anyone who just thinks posting racist, homophobic, etc. comments is perfectly an okay thing to do.
  • Self destructive messages (self harm/suicide threats/etc). Not really a reason to ban on sight, but remove the messages and talk with them in private first. If the user ignores the mod and persists to post these messages, then remove them.
  • People who threaten the streamer or others in chat whether physical or digitally.
  • Here are some helpful tips on how to spot and deal with harassment from both Mixer and Twitch.
  • Scammers + spammers in chat. Scammers usually post malicious links only in chat.

 
Ban Evading
If there are viewers who just want to be trolls, (generally experienced with younger kids) and they get banned, sometimes they will create different accounts. They create what are called “alt accounts” to get around the ban to keep being a problem in chat. Most of the time they make it very apparent and even make names to attack the streamer. It is very easy to just ban them on sight as long as you are certain they are in fact an alt account and not someone with a similar name.  (Ask other mods about thoughts on this)
 
Moderation Tools
 
There are a lot of external tools to utilize when moderating on or off a stream that can be very helpful to those who know what they are and how to use them. Here are a decent few programs, extensions, add-ons, and bots to help familiarize yourself with some of the helpful tools out there for moderating.
 
Chatty
https://chatty.github.io/
Chatty is a Twitch chat client that is external to the site (can be run as its own program), that lets you do many useful things even if you aren’t moderating. There is a list of features on the site, but big draws are the plethora of helpful moderation features. You can see more information about a viewer if they are causing problems to check how they had been recently to decide on if action is needed to be taken. On top of that, you can set it up so that when you put your mouse over chat, it won’t move and you won’t accidentally end up timing out the wrong person by clicking on someone else.
 
Logviewer
https://cbenni.com/
Logviewer is another third-party website that allows anyone to look up any users entire chat history in a stream that you moderate. While Twitch recently added the ability to see logs for users on their site, this tool still has some uses and has the potential to grow far more now that the creator doesn’t need to store every user’s logs.
 
Better Twitch
https://www.nightdev.com/betterttv/
Better Twitch (or BTTV) is an extension for browsers that gives more functionality to the chat window. This includes features helpful to mods like if your streamer allows links in chat and a user posts a link to an image, you can hover over the link to see what it is to moderate without leaving the page. This also works for all other links that are posted in chat. BTTV also has emotes embedded into it that cannot be seen if you don’t have the extension installed, which isn’t helpful for moderation, just something fun with it.
 
FFZ
https://www.frankerfacez.com/
FrankerFaceZ or FFZ is an extension for your browser just like BTTV is developed by Dan Salvato. This extension is a bit more on the fun side for users, but it also allows you to set up things like custom keyword highlighting. This is very useful if there are things your streamer does not want to talk about, that users may try to work around the auto mod to get a reaction for. For a weird example, say the streamer hates Mario, so the viewers try to talk about Wario or Luigi to get around the blocked terms, you can time that out before it bothers your streamer.
 
Bots
Bots are a very useful and important part of a stream’s healthy ecosystem. They help both the streamers and moderators focus on more important things, while they take care of smaller issues or important messages. These can include things like auto-posting messages on a timer or message post interval like the streamer’s schedule or social media. They can also timeout users and give them a reason if they are just doing something not super harmful like posting a link in chat if it’s set to not allow links. Bots can be configured by moderators and the streamer, both with their own API on a website or program as well as in chat with commands. 
The two main bots most streamers use which are the easiest to get started with that tend to be used are:

    • Moobot
      • https://moo.bot/
      • Moobot is one of the most widely used and helpful bots out there. It allows for easy pickup and use functionality, but lacks any super customizability. (insert features).
  • Nightbot
    • https://beta.nightbot.tv/
    • Nightbot is the other big bot used by many streamers, and is very helpful like Moobot. It is also extremely easy to use but also offers customizability that can make your stream more organized for those who want to go in and learn it. Nightbot also has an external client that the streamer or mod can download to edit the bot, documentation can be found here: https://docs.nightbot.tv/app-beta
    • Nightbot can also be synched with a Discord server to have commands work on both platforms as well.

 
There are also many more bots out there that let you do a plethora of commands and include countless features to make the chat experience more enjoyable. Some bots include monetary systems that a user can acquire through means in the channel that they then can spend on on stream items such as song requests. Here is a good listing of different bots that has been compiled into a blog post on Medium.
 
Discord
https://discordapp.com/
Discord is basically if Skype and TeamSpeak had a baby and it grew up to do far better things than its parents. A streamer can link their account with their Discord and can allow users who are subbed to them on Twitch or YouTube access the server where you can talk whenever you want. Many smaller streamers will have open servers that anyone can join, but you can also add a role that users can get in the server for being subscribed to the streamer. With another way to chat (one that is 24/7) comes more need for moderators, and that would open up a whole new can of worms, but has the same basic principals.
Discord requires moderators just the same as a stream does, but generally more mods are required on Discord. As chat can go at all times of any day, having a moderation team that is large enough to span mods that can cover most time zones of activity is very important to keep things under control. There can be a whole entire other document written on the needs of Discord moderators, but in the end, most tips and things to look out for are the same.
 
 
Modch.at
https://modch.at/
Modch.at (or Modchat) is a website that can basically replace your Twitch viewing with itself. It is an edited version of Twitch that allows you to basically customize your entire mod features, including the buttons that appear when you hover over a user. (get more info on this from people who’ve used it)
 
Strawpoll
https://www.strawpoll.me/
Strawpolls are a quick way to create a poll and post them in chat for viewers to vote on something for a stream. They only require the question, and answers and you can create a poll in 10 seconds to post in chat. This is helpful for streamers who want chat input for something in a game, or what to do next, and are something a mod can throw together while the streamer plays. Easy, simple, and helpful, what more do you need?
 
Whispers
Whispers are the little chat box icon to the left of the chat window on Twitch. You can search for any user in the search box in the top of the whispers tab to message someone, or click on a username in chat and go to whisper.

  • Taking care of personal items or questions.
  • Handling situations that may get out of hand in the public chat.
  • Calming down users if things are getting too heated without removing them from chat.
  • Getting links from users to post in chat/give to the streamer when most of streamers keep links disabled in chat.
  • Contacting users if they are breaking rules or to warn them about future bans/timeouts for the behavior they are continuing.
  • Useful and fast way to get private messages to your streamer when something needs to be done/said.
  • Fast and easy way to chat with your fellow moderators to discuss anything.

 
Networking
 
If there is anything that is extremely imperative for everyone looking to grow in any capacity in today’s world it is to network like crazy. In this survey conducted by Lou Adler and posted on Linkedin in 2016, the results showed that 85% of jobs come from networking.  Not only does this apply for the “real world” when it comes to finding jobs, it really helps not only content creators but anyone looking to make a name for themselves in today’s world. You never know who you could possibly meet, especially through the Six Degrees of Separation rule.
 
 Make Friends
If there is one thing that we have learned as time has gone on when networking, it is important to make friends and not just connections. Though it is good to have both and connections can get you places, friends will be a resource for as long as the relationship stands. If there is one thing that we have learned as time has gone on when networking, it is important to make friends and not just connections. Though it is good to have both and connections can get you places, friends will be a resource for as long as the relationship stands. 
No, we aren’t saying to make friends to use people, make friends because you genuinely want to be friends with them. The same goes for streamers you want to help, don’t do it for the numbers, do it if you enjoy their streams and want to help out. Many sources online say to differentiate the two, but if you build a relationship with someone even if it’s just business related around being a genuinely caring person you can make lasting impressions on others. Talk to someone like a person, instead of just a resource. This very interesting article posted on Forbes pointed out the positives of making friends instead of just connections when it came to Networking.
 
Streaming as a Symbiotic Relationship
Something that is interesting to see is how the world of streaming has become a sort of symbiotic relationship in the sense that it is difficult if not impossible to do everything alone. Not only do streamers require moderators to help them keep chat under control while they focus on their task, but streamers sort of need each other to grow as well. While you technically can grow your own brand and stream without any outside help from other streamers, it absolutely is much easier with some good relationships. 
As mentioned earlier in the Getting Started section streamers and moderators need each other, in the sense that streamers need mods to control chat and mods need streamers to, well have a chat to moderate. Automod does help a bit when it comes to controlling chat if you are lacking real moderators, but it cannot replace what a human can take care of. There are many things we wish Twitch would do for their moderator community, but we can get into that discussion at a later date.
Some of the best things you can do for others especially on Twitch is an end of stream raid. We mentioned this in the Twitch Crash Course section, but when you raid someone on help your community find someone else to watch as well as help another streamer get more viewers. This is another way the streamer life is full of symbiotic relationships if you raid someone you know you help strengthen your relationship with them as you are showing you support them. If you raid someone you don’t know, but find them entertaining you can easily grow your network to have them in your circle as well (especially if they are a smaller channel).
We want to emphasize, when it comes to networking in other communities as a streamer and a moderator of a streamer, please never promote your own stream or someone else’s in someone’s chat. It looks terrible and may lead to some bridges being burned before they are even built. As stated before as well, you as a mod are an extension of the streamer, and if you are acting like an idiot in someone else’s stream you can damage your own and your streamers names.
 
Be Active in Your Communities
What people engage with, like, and repost on different social media sites really can give you an understanding of what that person is like off stream. While some people may be very cognizant of what they interact with and make sure not to engage in things that may get them in hot water, others may not and if they seem to not be a very wholesome person off stream, it might be important to talk with them.
A big way to grow yourself and your network is your off-stream interactions with your community and others. An “industry standard” way of going about this process is having a good social media presence. Getting involved in social media is something we highly suggest, especially Twitter, as it helps keep your viewers and community up to date with your streams, whether from a moderation standpoint or caster. It is also a great way to get to know other streamers and moderators in the community especially the other streamers and mods on your team if you are a part of one. Usually, most streamers will have links to their socials in the description of their stream or on screen somewhere, and it doesn’t hurt to drop them a follow and interact with them off-stream.
Probably one of the best things you can do as a streamer or mod for others is supporting each other. Back somewhat to the symbiotic relationship idea, sort of the “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” mentality, helping people really goes a long way. Even just the gesture of reaching out to others if they need help is something that leaves a lasting impression. Whether its things like retweeting their stream tweets, or being active in their community and making friends it is just something that will not only be extremely nice, it’s also great to grow and strengthen your network.
 
External Interactions
One of the best things you can do to grow your network is to meet people in person, and one of the best ways to do that in the streaming world is by visiting conventions. Conventions are a great way to meet with other like-minded creators or even people you never expected you would meet from a streamer standpoint. If you are someone who already has somewhat of a following, reach out to your local conventions and see if they’d like to have you as a special guest. It’s great for your followers to be able to meet you and break the walls of streamer and viewer as well. Conventions are extremely useful to plan to have streamer and mod meetings to help try and build a better connection.
When you plan to go to an event or convention it is always important to be professional but still be yourself. Don’t act like a full pro and change your whole demeanor to a point where your community and others won’t recognize you. You just need to make sure that you behave in a way that you would like people to know you as. It is useful to think of events and conventions like an extension of your stream and streaming platform, be the person you’d be online just in person.
Business cards are a huge plus when attending an in-person event, especially when you are meeting up with other content creators, streamers, and moderators. Especially as a mod, use that as leverage if you are looking to grow your communities or find a new place to be helpful in. If you are an extension of a stream and you plan on sticking around for a while, it doesn’t hurt to put “mod for: (insert streamer(s))” on your cards. That being said make sure you sell yourself first, have your roles and skills at the forefront of your cards before you try to ‘sell’ your streamer to someone.
 
Resources:
Twitch Documentation
https://www.twitch.tv/p/legal/community-guidelines/
https://www.twitch.tv/p/legal/terms-of-service/
https://help.twitch.tv/customer/portal/articles/725568-how-to-file-a-grief-report
https://help.twitch.tv/customer/portal/articles/2329145-how-to-manage-harassment-in-chat
 
Mixer Documentation
https://mixer.com/about/tos
https://watchbeam.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/categories/115000605206-Code-of-Conduct
https://watchbeam.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/115000922623-Rules-of-User-Conduct
https://watchbeam.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/115000899126-How-to-report-a-rule-violation
 
YouTube Documentation
https://www.youtube.com/yt/about/policies/#community-guidelines
https://www.youtube.com/static?template=terms
 
Misc Resources and Documentation
https://stream-moderation-guide.fandom.com
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/new-survey-reveals-85-all-jobs-filled-via-networking-lou-adler/
 
To add:
https://watchbeam.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/360023239472-Understanding-Doxing-and-How-to-Stay-Safe
https://watchbeam.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/115003264803-What-is-harassment-
 

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