Twitch makes two-factor authentication compulsory for new users to prevent automated illegal streaming

Twitch has added compulsory two-factor authentication for new streamers after a number of new accounts broadcast illegal content, including pornography, earlier this week. In a series of tweets shared over the week (thanks, VG24/7), Twitch apologised for the inconvenience but insisted “the safety of our community is our top priority and we’re doing everything we can to restore all access as quickly as possible”.

While these kind of illegal livestreams have happened before, it’s thought the most recent incident – which seemed to primarily target new channels attached to channels listed in Twitch’s Artifact game directory – was particularly prolific. Consequently, Twitch has now made two-factor authentication mandatory for all new users, and temporarily prevented new sign-ups from live-streaming at all.

The company’s action has now seen the popularity of the Artifact tag drop on the streaming platform again, and all channels associated with the breach have been suspended or deleted.

“Over the weekend we became aware of a number of accounts targeting the ‘Artifact’ game directory to share content that grossly violates our terms of service,” Twitch said via its social media channels. “Our investigations uncovered that the majority of accounts that shared and viewed the content were automated. We are working with urgency to remove the offending content and suspend all accounts engaged in this behavior. In addition, we have temporarily suspended the ability for new creators to stream.

“We’re very sorry for the inconvenience,” the company added. “We take what happened very seriously and are making additional changes to prevent this kind of coordinated activity on our service in the future.”

About Vikki Blake

It took 15 years of civil service monotony for Vikki to crack and switch to writing about games. She has since become an experienced reporter and critic working with a number of specialist and mainstream outlets in both the UK and beyond, including Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, IGN, MTV, and Variety.

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