Twitch is alerting broadcasters that some of their messages may have been exposed following a glitch that affected the system in May.
A number of streamers received emails from the company concerning private messages sent in Twitch’s old “Messages” feature. Twitch got rid of the “Messages” feature in May, but gave streamers the option to download their archives before it was completely removed. Giving users the ability to download archives of their history is relatively normal, and is something sites like Twitter also offer.
A Twitch representative told Polygon:
In May, we removed a legacy feature called Messages and provided users the ability to download an archive of past messages. Due to a bug in the code that generated the message archive files, which has since been fixed, a small percentage of user messages were included in the wrong archives. The primary use case for Messages was promotion; streamers sending out mass communication to subscribers for example, and the majority of messages that were unintentionally provided to another user fall into that category. We have notified users via email and provided them the affected messages for review. Protecting our users’ privacy is important to us and we have taken actions to ensure this kind of error does not happen in the future.
A number of prominent streamers expressed their own concerns on Twitter, acknowledging that it was frustrating not to have any control over the situation.
“Yea, really not happy about it,” streamer Shannon Plante wrote. “Nothing we can do though, but Twitch totally shat the bed on that.”
“Super unnerving, especially considering so many broadcasters used Messages to communicate in regard to giveaways and mailing information,” streamer Meg Kaylee added.
“One of my messages was from a user to me who won a giveaway,” MikeTheBard tweeted. “Their full name and address is listed with their username. I wonder how many other people got this?”
There is a way for streamers to see if they were affected. An email was sent to streamers affected, but anyone else can check through this portal.