In the past entry Who Is Watching Your Streams, And Why? I talked about the various reasons a chatter might join your shows. And as you keep streaming, you'll eventually get various viewers who cause trouble. Some simply misunderstand your channel rules, while others are only there to ruin everyone else's good time. In the above entry as well as many others, I've discussed how, using patience and kindness, you can sometimes help someone who is disrupting your streams to become a positive member of the community. Don't lose sight of the big picture after all: the objective isn't always to remove anyone causing a small issue, but to have everyone watching your shows able to enjoy themselves. Whether that means silencing someone problematic or guiding them toward following your rules, either strategy achieves the same end goal. As Abraham Lincoln once said, "Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?"
Sometimes however, whether someone is repeatedly toxic or they come out of the gate saying something completely reprehensible, you have no choice but to get rid of them. As I've mentioned in many previous entries as well, the act of timing out or banning someone isn't the end of the process either. Even when you've removed someone problematic, you could still end up inadvertently giving them the power over your stream that they craved all along. In this entry, I'll teach you to avoid the most common mistakes in preventing negative viewers from taking control of your shows. For larger channels, these insights can apply to moderators as well as the streamer. But for anyone starting out, you'll likely be on your own without any mods to back you up, so keep these thoughts in mind in case you find yourself in a difficult situation.
➢ AVOID SNOWBALLING
The first rule when dealing with negativity is the one that most streamers can't help but break: do not get into arguments on your stream about whether or not something should be allowed on your stream. If you have a rule, it's a rule. You simply refer someone to that rule, and then enforce it. The burden doesn't fall on you to educate someone about right and wrong, only to remind them about the law of the land. After this, it's up to the viewer in question: they either play by your rules or they're removed. Arguing with someone in chat will only lead to other chatters joining in. Ironically, this snowball effect does damage regardless of whether the other chatters are trying to help or harm you, because they're prolonging the subject's time in the limelight.
|Don't let a negative subject grow into a monster.|
➢ TENTH AVENUE FREEZE OUT
Then there are comments which are just wrong, and anyone posting them knows they're wrong. Whether the remarks are racist, sexist, homophobic, overtly graphic, or anything else way outside the bounds of human decency, this person isn't someone who even needs to be told your rules. They simply have to be silenced.
|Walked into a...|
There are a few considerations when going for an option like this, however. First, don't forget what I mentioned at the beginning of this section: this response should be saved only as a last resort, against someone who is completely beyond help. I don't recommend doing this to anyone except those you've never seen before and never want to see again. When encountering a person who makes a Freeze Out necessary, consider looking inwards after your show: is there anything about your channel's infrastructure you could change to prevent things like this in the future? In the entry Setting Limits for Your Streams, I laid out ways you can prepare commands and automod features to prevent hateful words and phrases from being allowed in your chat in the first place.
➢ WORDS HAVE POWER
At the end of the day, preventing negativity from taking root is on you as the streamer. Not only in what you say, but mostly in what you choose not to say. Anything spoken out loud on stream, and anything that gets said in chat, becomes fair game for conversation. So if you don't want a subject to spread, don't say anything about it. If there's a rule in place, refer someone to the rule. If it's beyond the help of your rules, remove it without even giving the person or their comment the time of day. When you keep in mind these ideas, it's possible to defeat the bulk of negativity in chat with minimal incident.
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