Twitch suspends paid channel boosts after trolls promote porn to front page

Several users reported seeing pornographic livestreams on the front page of Twitch because of the now-disabled Boost Train feature

Streaming platform Twitch has suspended its Boost Train feature, after a group of viewers used the paid boost system to land several porn livestreams on the site’s front page.

Yesterday (March 31), several Twitch users reported seeing pornographic content on the site’s front page (via Dotesports).

This was caused by Twitch’s Boost Train feature, which allowed stream viewers to “boost” channels to the front page in exchange for real money. The boosted streamer received none of this money, and the payments instead went entirely to Twitch.

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As reported by Zach Bussey and Twitter user thenoosh22, “determined trolls” used the feature to have pornographic livestreams appear in the ‘Recommended’ section of the Twitch homepage for users.

Speaking to PC Gamer, a Twitch spokesperson has confirmed that the Boost Train feature – which was still in a testing phase – has been suspended due to “safety-related issues”.

twitch mobile app logo iphone
Credit: Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images

It’s unclear when channel boosting will return to Twitch, although it’s unlikely that the streaming platform – which has a minimum user age of 13 – will risk bringing the feature back before it has found a way to prevent trolls from abusing the system.

This has only been the latest development in Twitch’s long-running battle with what the company describes as “bad actors”.

Earlier in March, the site announced that it has “taken legal action” against individuals responsible for harassing streamers in a practice known as hate raids. Hate raids refer to users visiting a livestream and filling it with offensive – often anti-LGBTQ+ or racist – abuse.

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Several days ago, non-profit group Color Of Change teamed up with Black streamers on the site to demand Twitch does more to combat racism on the website.

In other news, PlayStation has cut nearly 90 jobs from its North American branch, as part of what the company is calling a “global transformation”.

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