Amazon Twitch Live Streaming Platform Announces Security Advisory Board

(Reuters) – Amazon Inc (AMZN.OTwitch's live video game streaming platform is forming an advisory board of experienced users, online security experts and bullying advocates to help improve security on the site, Twitch said in a post on Thursday.

ARCHIVE PHOTO: The Amazon logo is seen at the company's logistics center in Lauwin-Planque, northern France, on April 22, 2020. REUTERS / Pascal Rossignol

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The eight board members will advise on product and policy changes, focusing on areas such as harassment and protection of marginalized groups.

Twitch, which was used last October to broadcast footage of attacks in Germany, said it had doubled the size of its security operations team this year and added new tools to help its volunteer channel moderators.

The company said it also uses a combination of human moderators and automation to handle the moderation reports it receives.

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Twitch, which claims to have 15 million daily users, is primarily a website where video players can stream their games live and chat with other users, although it also has channels focused on sports, music and politics. Last year, U.S. President Donald Trump joined the platform.

The board includes Dr. Sameer Hinduja, co-director of the Cyberbullying Research Center, sociologist TL Taylor, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, whose research focuses on online games, Alex Holmes, deputy CEO of the British youth charity The Diana Award, and Emma Llansó, director of the Free Expression Project at the Center for Democracy and Technology.

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Also on the board are experienced Twitch streamers CohhCarnage, Cupahnoodle, Zizaran and FerociouslySteph.

"In developing this advice, we consider it essential to include experts who can provide an external perspective, as well as Twitch streamers who deeply understand the challenges and unique views of the creators," said Twitch in the blog post.

The move adds Twitch to the list of social platforms that have created advice to advise on the site's decisions, such as Twitter Inc (TWTR.N), which formed its Trust and Security Council in 2016.

In March, Chinese social video app TikTok, which faces U.S. scrutiny over data sharing and censorship concerns, appointed members of a U.S.-focused content moderation committee to provide "unvarnished views" on its policies.

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Last week, social media giant Facebook Inc (FB.O) announced the first members of its Supervisory Board, a high-level effort to respond to criticisms about content moderation decisions. [L1N2CO1DA]

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But unlike Facebook's supervisory board, which can overturn the company's verdict on certain content, a Twitch spokeswoman told Reuters her board would not make moderation decisions.

The spokeswoman said the council would meet regularly. Asked about the transparency of the group's board, she said Twitch hopes to share periodic updates on its work.

Elizabeth Culliford reporting; Editing by Nick Zieminski

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