Twitch recesses Paid Channel boosts after individuals pay to fetch Porn 

 March 15, 2022

Twitch began testing a new feature in October 2021 that enabled viewers to spend money to facilitate a streamer’s channel to the site’s front page to give it greater exposure.

Unfortunately, that experiment has ended, at least for now. As mischiefs were taking pros of the system to push Porn to the top of the heap.

They were initially debuted in December 2020 using free channel points pooled by viewers during Community Challenges. “When a boost challenge is completed, we’ll promote your stream into obvious Twitch features like ‘Live channels we think you’ll like,” the Boost This Stream FAQ illustrates. “Promoting your stream helps improve your visibility and reach new audiences.”

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Paid boosts, first notified in September 2021, work the same way, except that real money is involved. Unlike channel points gained by following and watching channels, the only limiting factor with paid boosts is how extensively an individual is willing to spend. In addition, streamers can also pay for the growth, effectively allowing them to buy their way onto the front page.

The project was not universally well-received: Much voiced concern that the system preferred widespread channels, as they were better positioned to pay their way to the top. And unlike cheering or channel subscriptions, streamers made no money from the paid boosts: All of the money went to Twitch.

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A Twitch representative clarified that the Paid Boosts program ended in late 2021. Still, a similar new program called Boost Train, which enables viewers to boost a channel by purchasing subscriptions and bits, went live early in March.

And this is where things went sideways: On March 30, users on Twitter and Reddit began to notice live channels on the front page streaming porn. The media in question were being boosted to the front page, as they were tagged with a “promoted by the streamer’s community” label.

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“Looks like determined trolls are paying for accounts with access to the Boost Train… and then literally creating hype trains to get porn onto the front page,” streamer Zach Bussey tweeted.

The Twitch rep confirmed that the Boost Train experiment had been paused because of safety-related issues during testing. However, specific reasons for the halt weren’t provided, nor did Twitch say whether Boost Train might be returned in some modified form in the future. Still, updates on new features to improve channel discoverability will be shared when they become available.

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