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Twitch suspends boost train feature after porn added to front page

Twitch has suspended its paid boost train feature after porn was boosted to the front page.

The feature was introduced in March this year, but bears a resemblance to the paid boosts programme that ended in late 2021, as clarified by a Twitch representative to PC Gamer.

This new feature works similarly, however, and takes the place of a hype train – subscriptions and bits thrown can now contribute to a boost train that pushes a stream to the front page of Twitch.

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The feature has already been abused, however. Reports on Twitter and Reddit show that pornographic streams are being boosted to the front page (beware those links are NSFW).

These streams were tagged with a “promoted by the streamer’s community” label, so clearly were boosted by the new feature.

A Twitch representative told PC Gamer that the feature has since been paused because of safety-related issues that came up during testing. No further reasoning was given, nor was it confirmed if the feature will return.

Twitch is clearly experimenting with ways streamers can boost discoverability on the platform, something that needs improving to boost the visibility of smaller and more diverse streamers.

However, so far it seems to be failing. The previous paid boost feature, introduced in October last year, allowed viewers to pay to boost a stream to the front page of Twitch.

It was widely criticised by streamers though, seen as a feature that would advantage larger streamers when those with smaller audiences would benefit the most. What’s more, Twitch takes the money from boosts rather than streamers.

Following tests of the feature, it reportedly had no real impact.

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