One of the first ways your audience will interact with you is through the chat. As a streamer, it’s your job to make sure your community is growing in the direction you want. Don’t allow your viewers to try to push it in another way, to be cruel to each other, or to cause issues.
What Kind of Chat Rules Should You Have?
Write rules that are in-line with your brand. Do you want to be family-friendly? If so, you may need to ban foul language from your chat. Think of your chat as a dinner party you’re hosting at your home. Who will there? How would you want your guests to react to each other? This will help you determine the rules for your channel.
Always Follow the Chat Rules You Set For Viewers
Make your rules simple and easy to understand. Don’t go overboard and make too many rules. The majority of your loyal followers will have common sense. Lead by example and follow your own rules. If they see you breaking them, they will feel comfortable breaking them as well.
How to Enforce Your Twitch Chat Rules
Chat rules mean nothing if they aren’t enforced. Make sure your viewers obey the rules by moderating the chat yourself, setting up a chatbot, and asking people to moderate for you.
When you’re first starting, you can generally moderate the chat yourself. Keep an eye on it, and if someone breaks the rules, take appropriate action toward them, either with a reminder, a time-out, or a channel ban. Since you will only have a few viewers, it is easy enough to keep an eye on it.
We also recommend that you add a chatbot right away. Not only does it moderate your stream, but you can also program it to respond to chat commands. A chatbot can save you a lot of time, and it will help direct your viewers. For more information about chatbots, read Best Chatbot for Twitch: Guide to Picking Your Little Helper.
Your chat will become more active as your steam grows. Add moderators to your team as needed. Make sure that they are trustworthy, dependable, and that they understand the rules and culture of your channel.
Ask your viewers to treat each other with kindness and have respect for each other, regardless of who they are and what they believe. Ban hate-based speech from your channel.
To make things a bit easier, ban certain words on your channel (and close spellings of the words). Setting this up ahead of time will automatically weed out inappropriate statements. We recommend banning the most common discriminatory slurs in your area.
Some people will use slurs and hurtful language regardless of your rules. Banning them ahead of time will save you and your moderators the headache of deleting messages in your chat. There are several lists on the internet that detail discriminatory words. We have collected a few of them to help you make sure to block what you want to be blocked:
Note: On Twitch, some members have used the TriHard emote as a racial slur. There is some argument on whether or not the emote should be removed. While a lot of streamers love it because of how happy and excited the emote looks, if you feel uncomfortable with it, you can block it in your channel.
What Should You Ban People For on Your Twitch Chat
While you are banning words, consider banning hyperlinks to prevent people from spamming your chat with them. If you are still starting out and want to see what your viewers send you, then wait to ban these until a time when it is difficult to keep up with the chatter.
Also, ban the command /me which changes the color of the text. Some malicious users will spam your chat pretending that they have given you donations. It can be annoying and disappointing for new streamers who are trying to make ends meet.
We recommend that you ban people from talking about hot topics such as politics or religion (unless it is a part of your content). These arguments can become heated and cause drama before people revert to namecalling.
Try to settle any arguments that arise in your chat as quickly as possible or ask the offending members to settle their differences in DMs. People will have disagreements from time to time, but it is essential for the rest of your community that it not spoil everyone’s day.
Make sure that your chat knows that you stand with your moderators and that they shouldn’t argue with them. Your mods should be people that you trust and respect. They are helping you build your channel by doing a somewhat tricky job. Try to make things a little easier on them.
While it is rare, people can make threats or behave in a way that makes other users uncomfortable. Make sure to take threats seriously and to protect your other viewers’ privacy in these situations.
Rules Relating to Your Content
If you a playing a game with a storyline, make sure to add a rule about giving spoilers. Even if you’ve played the game before, not all of your followers have, and spoilers may ruin the experience for them. Tell them not to spoil movies, TV-shows, or books either. While most people can take these in stride, spoilers can ruin some people’s day, primarily if they have invested time into the story.
Viewers will also often give game feedback. If you don’t want any “backseat gaming,” add it as a rule. Let them know that if you want their help, you will ask for it. This way, you can avoid reading unsolicited advice.
Other Miscellaneous Rules for Your Twitch or Mixer Chat
Here are a few different rules you may want to consider:
- No spamming comments or words repeatedly
- Don’t type in all caps
- Use a specific language (i.e., English, Spanish) when communicating
- Don’t self-promote your channel, website, or other personal things without permission
Add the Same/Similar Rules to Your Discord Server
If you have a Discord server for your community (and you should!), make sure to transfer these rules over to it. As pictures can also be posted on Discord, make sure to clarify what images are allowed. It is generally a good idea to ban nudity, vulgar/gang symbols, and other offensive graphics. To learn how to make your Discord hub, read our guide, How to Create Your Stream Channel’s Discord Server.
Twitch Chat Settings
In addition to pre-banning words, there are a couple of other things you can do in the backend to optimize your chat settings. To access these features, click your avatar in the upper-right-hand corner of the screen. Select the “Settings” option, then the “Channel and Videos” tab at the top of the screen. On the left-hand side of the screen, choose “Moderation” under the Settings header.
We recommend turning the email verification setting on to prevent malicious users from quickly creating new accounts to troll you or your viewers.
Enter your chat rules (or a shortened version of them if you have several mentioned on your profile) into the provided space. They will pop up the first time a user tries to type to your community as a reminder of what you expect from them.
Use the “followers/subscriber chat only” settings sparingly. If you are a new channel, this can be a deterrent for new viewers who might otherwise stay on your channel. Don’t try to “force” people to follow you. Use this only at times when you are dealing with trolls, then put your settings back to normal a few minutes later.
Setting Up Chat Rules on Mixer
Click your avatar on the upper-right-hand corner of your screen. From the options that populate beneath the avatar, choose “Broadcast Dashboard.” Select “customize” from the list and either write in your rules in the channel description or add a pre-made image.
Your rules don’t have to be complicated. Do your best to create a community that all your followers will enjoy and feel comfortable visiting. Modify them as needed, and consider explaining the consequences of failure to follow them. Be consistent in how you handle rule-breaking and don’t make exceptions. Exceptions will only exasperate future behavior.