If you’ve ever been in a Twitch channel, chances are you have seen some names that have pretty green swords next to them, which indicates that this person is a stream moderator. There are many different types of moderators or mods: paid mods, voluntary mods, troll mods, mods that help with technical stuff, mods that socialize with chat, mods that run home games and even places where everyone is a mod. The one thing that all moderators have in common however, is they are there to support and help the streamer in any way they can. A moderator is a streamer’s right hand man or woman.
What is a Stream Moderator?
To understand what a mod truly is, let us look to the definitions taken from online dictionary: an arbitrator or mediator, a person who moderates an Internet forum or online discussion, a substance used in a nuclear reactor to retard neutrons. As a mod myself, I definitely feel being a mediator can be one of the most important components to modding. I don’t believe when there is an initial problem someone should be snap banned if there is a semi intelligent conversation happening. I think it is the job of the moderator to either change the flow of the conversation back to positive by changing the topic or giving a time out when necessary. When a timeout is given a custom amount of time can be set or a default timeout of 600 seconds or 10 minutes. While timed out the violating person is not permitted to type in the chat however he or she can still continue to watch the stream. After the designated amount of time has expired the user is able to type in chat again. Basically one of the primary functions of a moderator is to keep control of the chat so the streamer can put on the best possible show. Sometimes there are instances when a large amount of toxicity will break out into the chat, like a nuclear reactor exploding or there will be a bot spamming attack where bots repeat the same thing over and over clogging chat. In these instances it may be necessary to use the “ban hammer” as the negativity or spamming is almost 100% sure to come back. Pressing the ban button permanently blocks the user from participating in chat and can help restore order to the chat. The user can still whisper and watch the stream. A lot of times a moderator will get whispers from a banned user. These are usually not the nicest messages; however, sometimes an explanation of the ban is needed. Accidents do happen. Sometimes the wrong user gets banned or someone is given a second chance. At these times, a moderator is able to unban a person.
Moderators do have some special privileges that regular viewers do not have, such as the ability to add, edit and delete commands. Mods can update the title and game of the stream as well as turn certain modes like followers on and off. I would recommend if choosing mods, pick responsible and loyal people. The better the moderating team, the less stress for the streamer. It is important to have mods you trust and that are available to be around the times you stream. Demodding does occur based on the discretion of the streamer, although a moderator is able to unmod his/her self.
All in all, I think most moderators you see in streams are there for the love of the job and interactions with chat. Mods answer questions, boost the streamers morale and can even sometimes be the backbone of a stream. Modding can be tough so remember, be nice to the green sword people, we love you and the things that we do <3 .