How to Choose a Twitch Chat Moderator for Your Channel

Moderators or simply “mods” are important for all streams and similar communities with active chats and discussions. Trying to manage a stream, play the game and monitor chat simultaneously is a complicated task. Of course, you can always pause the game to answer comments, ban somebody in the chat and then continue the game. But, there is a simpler path: pick good Twitch chat moderator, delegate some of your tasks and breathe freely.

Choosing Twitch Chat Moderator: How to Know Who to Pick?

The main rule is to pick somebody who you trust. As you start gaining some viewership on Twitch, you will notice viewers that stick out. They are the most engaged people and the prefect candidates for the “moderator” mission. Mods should become your front line to quickly handle different situations in chat while you’re focusing on the game or other activities. Along with engaging your audience, moderators are people who have the right to ban viewers. If you want that banning happens only in rare occasions, choose your mods wisely and set a strict set of guidelines to follow. At the end of the day, most streamers choose mods from regular viewers who are familiar with chat rules and are enthusiastic enough to become a part of the team. Your mods should have participated in the community on a regular basis, at least, for 6 months or more. Before choosing a mod for your chat, keep watch this person for a while to see if the chosen person:
  • tends to be even-tempered
  • follows the rules of your chat
  • is patient to new people in the chat
  • adds insightful and polite comments to the chat discussion
  • is respected by other member of your community
  • fits the rest of your mod team, if you already have it
Below are some general ideas on how to organize your cooperation with a chosen Twitch chat moderator:

You Both Should Have Similar Expectations for the Stream and a Chat Room

Interaction between you and your mods is essential. Before hiring the mods, discuss what you expect from them in every detail. The mods should keep the chat in line based on the streamer’s rules and beliefs. If, for example, you don’t want to see any political conversations in your chat, your moderators are expected to shut them down. If you want to give a second chance even to the trolls in you chat, then agree this rule with your moderator. Ask him/her to retain such viewers and get them a follow first.  Give your mods clear instructions on when the abusive user should be timed out or banned. For instance, in some channels large text blocks are considered spam, as they make it impossible to distinguish other text. In other channels, with slow chat, caps blocks are not so annoying. As with any business and team, good communication is the key to understanding. It is also recommended to have written chat rules in the special section on your Twitch page to remind your mods and viewers the proper way of behavior. This enables chatters to see all rules by themselves and not to feel depressed in case of timed out. Use a separate chat room, e-mail list or IM client to maintain private conversation with your mods.

Mods Should Be Ready to Actively Participate in Every Stream

That is why it is good to have several mods who can substitute each other. Make sure that your mods can attend the streams regularly. Depending on the time zones, you can elaborate a schedule for your mods, just remember to communicate and discuss it in a separate moderators’ chat. If you are purely concentrating on the game and can’t engage chat, it is a job of Twitch chat moderator to keep the viewers entertained. Mods should be taught about which questions to raise in the chat, what content to share, etc.

Teach Your Mods How to Use Bots to Moderate Chat

Twitch bot commands are very useful, allowing your mods simply type a keyword into chat that will reply to various repeated questions concerning streamer’s equipment, social network names, etc. There are multiple Twitch bots that do different things to enhance the stream (some of them can even create polls, award stream currency). Nightbot, Ankhbot, Moobot, Deepbot are only some of them. Thus, make your mods up to date and teach how to use bots properly in case you are engaged elsewhere out of chat. If your Twitch chat moderator understands how the bots work, he/she will be able to make your chat more dynamic and fun.

Reward Your Moderators

Moderators are usually volunteers who are doing their job for free, that is why, it is important to treat them with respect. When you’ve chosen your moderators, give them a set of clear guidelines. What can be done? What should be avoided? The more you define, their easier your communication will be and there more chances that your expectations will meet. Create a separate chat where you can freely discuss all questions face to face. Let your mods to feel a part of your channel, involve them into discussions about the future of the community, and ask for their opinions. Think about the ways to reward your moderators. There can be a room in your Discord channel, free access to software, a T-shirt, a small “thank you” card in the email, whatever comes to your mind. Make your mods feel valued for what they do.

How Many Moderators Is Enough?

The number of mods totally depends on the number of viewers and the level of chat activity. For small channels with less than 1 text line in a second, adding 2-3 moderators is ok. For bigger channels with less than 5 lines in a second, it is good to have 1 moderator for every 200 viewers. And for the large channels, it is recommended having a good automated moderation along with real mods, in average 1 mod for 600 viewers. Be aware that sometimes too many moderators can also be bad. Try to avoid the creation of so-called “moderation wall” when 50% of participation in your chat is created by your mods. When choosing the mods for your channel, remember that your main aim is to please your viewers. Don’t make your audience feel watched and judged all the time. The work of moderators should be barely noticed.

How to Nominate a Twitch Chat Moderator?

Only the streamer can nominate a moderator to his/her channel. To do so, you should click on a username of the chosen person in the chat. If you are not using Better Twitch TV, there will appear a symbol “OP User” which you should hover over and click. If you are using Better Twitch TV, the sign “Mod” will appear instead. Another way to nominate a Twitch chat moderator is simply typing in chat the following combination: /mod username. Wait for several minutes until the chosen moderator gets a green sword near his/her username that associates with moderator powers. To remove your moderator from power, click on the mod’s typing in the chat and then on “Unmod” symbol. Or just type in the chat the following combination: /unmod username.

Takeaways

Whether you like it or not, but Twitch chat moderator is a representative of your chat. Sometimes, mods can over-extend their powers and start banning viewers for every sarcasm or silly joke. The most troublesome moderators are those who consider that they are above all the rules. Try to avoid such people. Your mods should maintain the channel’s level of tolerance and existing rules. Having too strict or too loose mods can affect the future of your stream. Only you can decide how you see your chat. If you want a small and well-controlled chat, hire strict moderatos. If you see your chat as a place of friends who chill out, search for appropriate mods to maintain this friendly atmosphere. Remember, that nobody is perfect. Sometimes, even with good intentions, you can choose the wrong person. In such situation, don’t be half-hearted to remove a moderator if you don’t like him/her. With some experience under belt, you will learn how to choose a right Twitch chat moderator with no making the same mistake twice.

9/18/2017