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? Do you want to be family-friendly? If so, you may need to ban foul language from your chat. This simple exercise will help you determine the rules for your channel.
Best Twitch Chat Rules
One of the best ways to come up with the best chat rules for Twitch is to look at other channels that are doing well. If there are communities that you enjoy, scroll down to the streamer’s about section and find their rules (it will generally be in one of their panels). Even Twitch’s own channel has rules which include the following:
- Follow the Twitch Community Guidelines to the letter.
- Be Kind!
- Respect other humans.
- Include everyone.
- Listen to the moderation team.
If you click on their panel, you will be redirected to the community guideline’s page to be able to read the full extent of what they ask of their viewers (on more than just their own channel).
You can also look at other Twitch channels for inspiration. Many streamers use variations of the following:
- No discrimination (sexism, racism, homophobia, etc)
- English (or the primary language of the streamer) only
- No cussing or slurs (you can also filter out some words with your chatbot)
- No game spoilers
- Backseat gaming is prohibited (people telling you what to do)
- No self-promotion
- Support each other and treat others with kindness
- Don’t type in all caps
- No arguments or drama in your channel or Discord
- Avoid religious or political discussion
- No spamming (repeating the same message over and over)
- Don’t post links in the chat
- No Rickrolling the streamer
Write rules that are in-line with your brand. You can reword these to your liking and add other relevant rules that will help you attract the audience you want.
How to Add Twitch Chat Rules
In addition to pre-banning words, you can add the rules to the chat to be seen by a viewer the first time they try to type in chat. Here’s how:
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.
Note: 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.
Twitch Chat Rules Examples
Your Twitch chat rules can be whatever you want, but here are a few things you should consider:
No Slurs or Demeaning Remarks
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.
Allowing Argumentative/Political Speech on Twitch Chat
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.
What to Ban 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.
Twitch 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 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 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.
Always Follow the Twitch 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.
Follower or Subscriber-Only Chat?
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.
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 finding good Twitch mods.
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 Twitch chatbot can save you a lot of time, and it will help direct your viewers.
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.
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.