Who moderates on Twitch and what do they do? Quantifying practices in community moderation on Twitch
Volunteer moderators are an increasingly essential component of effective community management across a range of services, such as Facebook, Reddit, Discord, YouTube, and Twitch. Prior work has investigated how users of these services become moderators, their attitudes towards community moderation, and the work that they perform, largely through interviews with community moderators and managers. In this paper, we analyze survey data from a large, representative sample of 1,053 adults in the United States who are active Twitch moderators. Our findings – examining moderator recruitment, motivations, tasks, and roles – validate observations from prior qualitative work on Twitch moderation, showing not only how they generalize across a wider population of livestreaming contexts, but also how they vary. For example, while moderators in larger channels are more likely to have been chosen because they were regular, active participants, mods in smaller channels are more likely to have had a pre-existing connection with the streamer. We similarly find that channel size predicts differences in how new moderators are onboarded and their motivations for becoming moderators. Finally, we find that moderators’ self-perceived roles map to differences in the patterns of conversation, socialization, enforcement, and other tasks that they perform. We discuss these results, how they relate to prior work on community moderation across services, and applications to research and design in volunteer moderation.