Before you start making rules for your Twitch channel, read up on Twitch's community guidelines. Use them as a framework to come up with your own rules, and make sure that there is no hate speech, political discussions, or any sort of promotion going on. Once you've made these rules, you can ensure they're being enforced by appointing moderators.
Figuring out the best Twitch rules can be hard, especially if you've never run a Twitch channel before. If your channel gets especially rowdy, you'd not only turn new viewers away, but you might also get in trouble with Twitch. I was especially scared about this when I first started, as I wasn't very clear with my rules, which did cause a few fights.
I've not only run through what these rules are, but all the best ways that you can enforce them too.
I've run through the best chat rules below. Just remember that some of these Twitch stream rules are more important than others.
By far, the best rule is making your viewers treat each other with kindness and respect. To help you enforce this, you can use your channel's dashboard to block hateful words from your chat (like slurs).
Here's how you can block certain words:
Doxxing (leaking someone's personal information) is a major problem that you should be on top of. While having a rule against it, also have one stopping users from leaking personal information about themselves.
Depending on the type of channel that you run, you probably don't want users talking about politics or religion. This can end up in a bunch of arguments that would turn new viewers away.
Also, if there are controversial opinions surrounding the games that you play, it might be smart to ban them too. Just like with political speech, this can cause arguments that you probably wouldn't want.
Definitely have a rule against self-promotion. You'll have random viewers inviting your viewers to their own channel or Discord server, otherwise. Not only do you risk losing your audience, but seeing someone constantly promote their chat is also pretty annoying.
As a streamer, I hate when viewers backseat-game. It takes the fun out of gaming, as you're not allowed to do what you want during rounds. To keep your sanity intact, I'd advise you not to allow this.
While at it, have a rule about what language users can speak in. If there are a bunch of different languages on your chat, this can be confusing and become spam-like very fast. Most streamers stick with English only.
If you stream games with major plot lines, like the Last of Us, or The Witcher 3, it's important that you set chat rules to stop users from dropping spoilers.
To stay ahead of this, you can try and block any terms and phrases that relate to the spoilers. You don't have to do this yourself, as one of your mods can take care of this. But of course, they'll first have to know the spoilers.
Once you've come up with your chat rules, you'll have to go to your channel's moderation tab to set them up.
Make sure that you've worded your rules properly. This is especially important when you run a large channel, as some of your users can misinterpret what you've said.
Here's a pro tip: To make sure you've worded your chat rules template properly, compare them with what big channels have written.
You can either moderate the chat yourself, or hire a couple of moderators. I've touched on both of these methods below.
If your Twitch channel is small, you should be able to moderate it yourself. Being able to see your chat while streaming will let you know if your audience is being good or breaking your Twitch channel rules. Here's what you can do:
If it's more basic rules that have been broken, like a user speaking another language, you can keep an eye on them and then give them a warning if they continue. But if it's a more serious offense, like them saying something offensive, you can give them a time-out or even a channel ban.
Here's how you can time-out a user:
Here's how you can ban them:
If you have a large channel community, you might have to hire a moderator or two. Make sure you choose users who are active, as they'd regularly be able to watch your chat.
Once you've got your eyes on someone for the position, here's how you can go ahead and make them moderator:
If your channel's community is especially big, I'd recommend that you have a full-blown moderating team instead of just 1 or 2 people.
I'd also recommend using bots like Streamlabs out. They'd work hand-in-hand with your mod-team, as they'd monitor the chat and then send them any user messages that they find inappropriate.
Here's how you set up Streamlabs:
If your chat is too out of control, it might be time to hire more moderators. Also, do an audit on the ones you have. They might not be doing as good of a job as you'd want.
Also, you can try switching follower or subscriber-only modes on. As you might have guessed from their names, only users who have followed or subscribed to your channel would be able to send texts. These users likely won't cause problems for you. Also, these two modes are really useful when dealing with raids.
Just be careful with how often you use the Subscriber only feature. It'll limit your Twitch community, as you won't really be able to get new fans as you'd be restricting access.
Regardless, here's how you turn follower-only mode on:
Here's how you turn subscriber-only mode on:
Also, you can keep bot-raids at bay by switching the email verification feature on. This will only allow accounts that have their emails verified into your chat. Here's what you do:
Answered below are some popular questions.
Twitch doesn't have any rules against lurking, unless you're using bots. But of course, whether you would be able to lurk really depends on the channel you're on. For whatever reason, it might have a rule against this.
If you're wondering whether you should include no-lurking in your chat rules template, I don't think this would be a good idea. Cutting lurking out can impact your growth, as you might have a lot of users silently watching while doing other work.
Also, yes, Twitch streamers can see anyone who's lurking. You should see their names, along with everyone else on the chat in your viewer's list.
If you're thinking about making some good Twitch chat rules, you can't go wrong with asking your viewers to be kind, respect others, refrain from political discussions, and limit self-promotion.
Once you have a chat rules section in place, there are 3 different ways that you can enforce the rules. If you're dealing with a smaller channel, you should be able to self-moderate it and take disciplinary action yourself. But if it's a bigger channel, then you might have to hire some chat moderators, or even use a chat bot to pin-point anyone breaking rules.
Hopefully, you found all of the points that were run through useful, and now know how to set chat rules for Twitch now.