The outbreak of COVID-19 has expedited the adoption of live-streaming platforms like the Twitch platform, YouTube Live, and Facebook Live, in various settings, including the firms demonstrating the products, news outlets broadcasting the news, not to mention an influx of people who started their own channel. The huge advantage of these live-streaming platforms is the interaction with the potential customers via live social media, or chat, that is integrated with the live streaming video so that others can see and feel copresence – the feeling of being together in the digital environment. The engagement could increase the enjoyment of the main content or create positive feelings toward what is being displayed. However, the chat also has a downside. Since the live streamer cannot control what will be said in the chat, there could be chats that disrupt the chat environment like trolling or sabotaging the main content with irrelevant comments. In this study, we study the Twitch platform, a streaming platform with over two million viewers per day on average. Twitch implemented a feature that can be set by the streamer to stop trolling. The live-streamer can put a limit on who gets to participate in the chat, by making the audience follow them for some time before participating in the chat. This creates a tension between creating a healthy chat environment and new-comers feeling welcomed. In this study, we aim to investigate the effect of intervening the chat in the Twitch stream, set by the streamer, on the user-generated content qualities.
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