Now that you’ve got a healthy amount of viewers, it’s about time to get rid of them with a Twitch bot! Or rather, moderate Twitch chat so you can stay focused on streaming and less on literal Nazis in chat.
What is Moderation?
Moderation is managing or controlling what can be said or done in chat. This can range from telling viewers the ground rules to stopping spammers.
Why Should I Moderate Twitch Chat?
You must moderate your channel to succeed on Twitch.
The responsibility of that moderation falls upon you, the streamer. If your chat is filled with viewers dropping racial slurs and you ignore it, then that reflects on you, your channel, and your brand.
Don’t let a viewer push you around with some naive freedom of speech arguments, read about the Paradox of Tolerence for more info.
Take this very seriously.
How strict, the number of warnings (if any), and your response are all up to the individual streamer and can vary from channel to channel.
Who are Moderators?
Moderators, or mods, are people in chat who have been granted the role of Moderator. This channel role gives them the ability to time-out or ban a user, purge lines from chat history, and enable/disable slow-mode and subscriber-only chat.
Mods may also have extra commands available to them via a bot you set up.
You can select a few of your trusted viewers, friends, or streamers from your Twitch Network to become moderators.
How Do I Promote Someone to Mod?
There are two ways to manage your channel roles:
- You can visit the Community -> Roles section of the Twitch Dashboard.
- You can type commands in chat:
/mod [Username] /unmod [Username]
Only the channel owner can promote somebody to a moderator.
What is a Channel Editor?
Channel Editors can edit stream information, run commercial breaks, edit and upload videos to your channel, create events, and download past broadcasts.
Do not confuse them with moderators. Giving someone Channel Editor access a whole lot of power over your channel that isn’t necessary unless you have a good reason (such as, the channel being for a group of streamers and not an individual).
What is a Twitch Bot?
A bot is a robot that helps moderate your stream. The bot always hangs out in chat waiting for commands or trigger words/phrases/behavior. When it sees one, it acts.
Use a Twitch bot to moderate your chat and say messages on timers.
- !title [Title of Stream] to allow your mods to change the stream title if they notice you forgot.
- !game [Game Name] for the same reason.
- !spoilers to display your spoiler policy.
- !songrequest [song name or YouTube link] to add a song to the queue.
- Banning people and purging chat for people who flood chat or use phrases/words/slurs you don’t want to see.
- Viewer point systems that track how long a viewer has watched your stream and lets them play gambling-type games.
Don’t let those examples limit you, a Twitch bot can do anything a programmer can set their mind to doing.
How Does a Bot Moderate Twitch?
A Twitch Bot moderates the chat in the same way a human being would. For example, if you know there is no good reason for a viewer to drop the hard-r nword in your stream, you can have a bot ban them.
No sense wasting a human’s time with something that straight forward.
Any command that would be available to a moderator will be available to the bot, assuming you set the bot’s role to moderator.
Doesn’t AutoMod already Moderate Twitch Chat?
AutoMod is very limited in what it can and cannot do. Twitch is improving this, but like anything else related to Twitch development:
Features can come and go at random, which makes it unreliable to moderate Twitch.
In that respect, a tool like a bot is best done by a third party. Let Twitch handle the video part of things.
What Twitch Bots Exist?
There are several free and paid options available. Feel free to experiment with them until you find the one you like.
Streamlabs Chatbot is the current name of old favorite Ankhbot. It’s maintained by the same crew that develops Streamlabs OBS. You’ll need to download the application and run it yourself, but it’s 100% free. It also has support for YouTube and Mixer.
Nightbot is another popular choice among streamers. Its interface is via its website and requires no extra download. It’s cloud hosted, maintains a searchable chat log, and is 100% free.
Moobot is another web-based bot. It has several paid features you can choose to use if your channel is large enough to find them handy. I’ve never found a reason to use Moobot over the completely free alternatives. It’s listed only due to it’s popularity among streamers who like burning money.
Stay Hydrated Bot is unlike any of the others at it performs a single function and does it well. It reminds you to drink water while you’re streaming at set intervals.
Do I Need a Bot to Moderate Twitch Chat?
You do not need a Twitch bot any more than you need to use an overlay or alerts. But, if you find yourself doing the same action, or repeating yourself throughout streams, then you might find it’d be best to integrate a bot.
Why Should I Use a Bot to Moderate Twitch Chat?
At the very least I would recommend a bot to change your stream info and game name. It’s too convenient to pass up and updating via the Twitch Dashboard is more laborious than it should have ever been.
A bot can have a list of banned keywords that you might not want your moderators to know about. For example, purging your address or phone number and banning anyone from chat who said it.
How Do I Pick a Twitch Bot?
Nightbot is a breeze to setup and very user-friendly. Check out out Nightbot and play around a bit.
It’s as easy as logging into their page with your Twitch account and enabling the bot. If you look at your channel viewer list Nightbot will sit alongside the rest of the chat now!
How do I Rename my Twitch Bot?
Every Twitch chatter, bots included, must have their own Twitch account.
For that reason, most bots will have a single name all users of that bot will recognize (e.g. Nightbot or Moobot).
Streamlabs Chatbot will need you to create a Twitch account for the bot since it’s running on your hardware and not some random web server. That’ll allow you to have a Botosaurus, TotallyHuman, NumOneFan, etc.
My Twitch Bot is Broken
Each bot has it’s own support page, and each one can get into its own set of problems.
When in doubt: disable your timers and triggers and start enabling them one by one to find out what the problem is.
Now that you now how to moderate twitch you’ll be pretty good to go for awhile! We’re nearing completion of the How to Stream on Twitch and Succeed series so be sure to read the earlier articles if you haven’t.
Next article up is going to cover Affiliates and Partnership, be sure to sign up for the How to Stream Newsletter to get it asap!
Have you played around with Twitch bots or have a moderation horror story? Let me know in the comments!