Twitch chat is a key part of the Twitch experience, allowing streamers to interact with their viewers in ways entirely unique to the platform. It also has value beyond simple conversation. Your chat logs contain valuable information about user feedback and responses that can inform how you create and brand content.
Any time you throw a dozen or more strangers into a room, you’ll get chaos. Though most viewers are content with healthy, positive interactions with their streamer, there are always a few bad apples who can ruin the experience for everyone else. Considering how quickly Twitch chat moves, it can be hard to manage every user in the moment. However, through smart use of your Twitch Chat Logs, you can help create a safe and fun viewing environment for your audience.
Although Twitch has improved their moderation tools in recent years, finding and accessing your Twitch Chat Logs still requires a bit of digging. In this article, we’ll get into the reasons you should check your Twitch Chat Logs as well as the different methods for doing so. We’ll also explore some third-party methods for storing and downloading your chat logs that will be useful for long-term moderation.
Why You Should Check Your Twitch Chat Logs
- Evaluate Disciplinary Actions — Sometimes you may want to evaluate the appropriateness of a punishment. Perhaps a user was banned when they should have only been timed out (or vice versa). You can look at your Twitch Chat Logs to verify what the user said or did prior to receiving their punishment. This lets you police your moderators and make sure none of them are abusing their power for personal vendettas.
- Check for Inappropriate Comments — Twitch has been really cracking down on abusive behavior or comments, and much of the burden of keeping the platform clean falls on streamers and mods. This is why it’s important for streamers to regularly review their chat logs for potential violations of Twitch’s Terms of Service (TOS). If your viewers frequently break the TOS, you could lose your channel even if you aren’t aware of the controversial comments in your chat.
- Collect Audience Data — Your Twitch chat log can be a helpful tool for discovering the kind of content your viewers enjoy. A quick skim of your viewers’ comments will give you an idea of what games or activities they liked, what parts of your stream they found boring, and your viewers’ overall opinion on your stream. Understanding how your audience responds to the content you provide is valuable for deciding the path you want to take your channel going forward.
- Review Feedback — Smaller channels may receive comments and feedback from their viewers on how they can improve their channel. You may even get invitations to collaborate with other streamers via your chat. With the Twitch Chat Log, you can go back and review feedback and important comments whenever you want.
- Discover New Memes — Every channel on Twitch is like its own sub-community within the larger Twitch platform. Streamers with loyal followers tend to develop their own inside jokes and memes specific to their channel. Checking your Twitch Chat Logs can help keep you in-the-know about how your followers communicate — their language, vernacular, and memes. Smart usage of this information can help foster engagement and loyalty.
- Search Usernames — Creating a Twitch account is free and takes almost no time at all. While this has been helpful for the platform’s growth, it can also be abused to circumvent timeouts and bans. In some cases, a banned user may log into another account and continue abusing your chat. Your Twitch Chat Log can show your when an account was created and what kind of comments it’s leaving. You can compare writing styles and usernames to identify if a banned user is using a throwaway account to enter your channel.
How to Check Your Twitch Chat Logs
Use the User Search Command
If you’re looking for a comment from a specific user, this is the fastest and easiest way to do so. Simply type the command /user [username] in your channel’s chatbox, and Twitch will return useful data about that user, such as:
- How many messages the user has left on your channel.
- The date the user’s account was created.
- How many times the user has timed out in your chat.
- How many times the user has been banned from your channel.
- The contents of any comments they have left on your channel.
- Any comments left by your mods about that particular user.
This method is particularly helpful if there’s a user that you suspect has created a new account to circumvent a previous punishment. Again, it’s important to remember that the User Search Command will not display any comments removed by a moderator. However, it can be used to isolate the time a user was punished so you can review their chat in the VOD.
Play back your VODs
Currently, recording and playing back your VODs is the only way to view the entire chat log for a streaming session. This method allows you to view comments that have been removed by a moderator — username search and third-party programs cannot access that information. If you’d like to re-evaluate a ban or suspension, you’ll need to go through your VOD’s chat history.
The downside to this method is that you’ll have to scrub through the entire video. It’s helpful to have a general idea of the time of the comment before you start going through the VOD.
Use a Third-party Program
While useful, the chat tracking tools provided by Twitch may not be enough for your purposes. Many streamers turn to third-party programs to set up chat logs for monitoring comments in the long term.
One of the most popular solutions is Chatty, a Java-based, open-source chat software that comes with a ton of features to help streamers and mods monitor and track their chat. Its interface is inspired by classic IRC clients, so there’s a bit of a learning curve to using it. Chatty doesn’t log your chats by default, and will delete older messages after some time.
Use a Chatbot
Twitch chatbots, like Nightbot, are automated software that help moderate and filter your chat. They also allow you to add special features to your chat and help make your viewer experience unique. Many chatbots can be configured to keep a complete and searchable log of all the comments in your chat.
Of all the methods detailed in this article, this is the quickest and simplest way to find the exact comment you’re looking for. Activating a bot in your chat will make it automatically start collecting chat data that you can peruse at your leisure even once the stream has ended. Your chatbot will not be able to track comments in chats it was never activated in, so if you’re only now thinking of using a bot to review previous chats, that won’t be possible. If you’re thinking of taking your Twitch channel to the next level, you should definitely look into deploying a chatbot. It’ll save you a lot of headache in the future.
How to Check Twitch Chat Logs as a Moderator
Moderators have access to individual viewers’ chat logs. All you have to do is enter Moderator View and click on a user’s name. Mod View can be accessed by clicking on the sword icon found on the lower-right part of your screen.
Once you’ve entered Mod View, just click on a user’s name to view their entire chat history on the channel. Then, you can scroll through their messages to read any of their previous chats. Other useful information, like how many times they’ve been timed out or banned, can be found here. You can also view any mod comments, or ban, report, or timeout the user from this display.
Downloading Twitch Chat Logs
If you want to store your Twitch Chat Logs locally for review later, Chatty lets you do just that. The in-software chat view has a line limit for how many comments you can scan at once. However, if you record all your chats to an external file, you can freely search the contents of the log whenever you want. Chatty can also show Twitch emotes, badges, and username colors to make your logs more readable.
Many chatbots will also keep a record of all the chats in your channel. Most chatbot services store this information on their own servers with limited functionality for downloading to your local storage. Research the chat logging features of each chatbot before choosing one for your channel.
Can I View Chat Logs for Other Channels?
Only the streamer or moderator can view the chat logs for the videos and users in their channel. Twitch does not host chat logs publicly — in fact, doing so violates the platform’s rules on data sharing. Before May 2020, the website OverRustle Logs kept a database of chats from all channels that were not set to Private. Anyone could use this database to stalk other users and see what they’ve written and in which channels. OverRustle Logs was deactivated on May 1st by request from Twitch’s legal department.