The Twitch chat is where viewers can interact with the host and other viewers during a stream and often the busiest part of the stream. It is essential to have a vibrant and active chat during a stream and can give the streamer a sign of whether users are engaged.
But, as your stream grows so does the chat which can bring as many negatives as it does positives. As it gets busier it can be too much for the streamer to get on top of – this is where moderators come in.
For ultra popular streamers, monitoring the chat during a stream and afterwards is a full time job. his is where Twitch chat logs come in – an opportunity to retroactively look at the chat content to find learnings or incidents which were missed but need addressing.
What are Twitch logs?
Twitch chat logs is a text file of all the chat interactions during a stream. It can be small or it can be monstrous depending on how active it is and the length of the stream. When someone posts anything in a streamer’s chat, it is logged somewhere. It can be accessed by the streamer and it can be accessed by Twitch themselves.
Only logged in users can post to a chat and your user name and IP address will be tied to that activity.
Make no mistake, Twitch owns the chat content and gives license to users and streamers to use it on their platform.
Twitch reserves the right to remove, screen, or edit any User Content posted or stored on the Twitch Services at any time and without noticeTwitch Terms of Service
Why would someone need to look at chat logs?
There are plenty of reasons why a streamer or the streamer’s team would want to review Twitch logs, and in fact many routinely do it. Here some of the reasons:
Assess the feedback of the stream
The chat is the beating heart of the stream and a place for the users to interact with the streamer.
Streamers that don’t have staff should routinely review chat logs on streams where they feel they may have missed a lot to see what the general vibe was. Did you miss questions? Where people critical or supportive of the stream?
Through the logs you can find out what worked and what didn’t – if you found yourself unable to keep up then perhaps it’s time to find a moderator.
Retroactively address toxic behaviour
Toxic behaviour in chat is a real threat to streamers – some channels can be banned purely on the content of their chat. If a streamer or moderator missed a period of toxicity, chat logs can be used to go back and find toxic users and take action. You can use this feedback to updated your list of banned words and phrases.
This isn’t uncommon for larger streams. Just imagine how difficult it must be for a streamer such as Amouranth, TommyInnit or Shroud to keep on top of the their chat.
Twitch chat will appear on VODs (video on demand), YouTube uploads, Speedruns and other clips and if there is clear profanity in the chat it may not be able to monetised. You can’t undo bad behaviour but with chat logs you can certain limit the risk of it happening again.
Again, Twitch HQ makes it clear that violations in chat are your responsibility and it can effect previous content (VODs etc). Hate speech, for example, in a chat, should be dealt with there and then but if that was not possible then going backwards to remedy it is the next best thing.
Starting March 5th, 2018, all content on the site is subject to the new guidelines. We expect creators to make a good faith effort to remove any hateful, harassing, and sexually suggestive content from their channel.Twitch Terms of Service
Creators are role models and leaders of the communities they create or foster around them. Creators should consider the consequences of their statements and actions of their audiences; we ask that you make a good faith effort to quell any efforts from those in your community to harass others.Twitch Terms of Service
Finding key information
During a stream, a viewer may have shared some key information that you couldn’t act on at the time – this could be anything such as an update on a friend, or a link to an interesting article. Whatever it may be, the chat logs will hold that information for you to get.
Who can view chat logs?
Content creators and moderators can view their chat logs through as standard through VODs, using search commands. With some extra tools, chat log views can be made simpler and more robust, we’ll talk more about this shortly.
Users do not have access to logs but they can play back their own chat entries through VODs.
In short, chat logs are only viewable properly to content creators and to a lesser extent their moderators.
How to check Twitch chat logs as a Creator
Twitch doesn’t natively have a feature which allows you to view an entire stream’s chat log. Out of the box all you can do is use the /user username command (replace username with the username of the person you want to see their history) or by painstakingly rewatching a whole VOD.
VODs expire over time, 14 days if you are not a partner. If this is the case, YouTube is your next bet if you uploaded a stream there (we recommend this).
Even then, if a moderator has removed a comment you won’t see it.
It is not a great system as its currently implemented and it seems odd that the best solutions are outside of Twitch HQ.
Using the search command can give you some insights into the user’s chat activity:
- How active is the user on your chat?
- What kind of tone do they have in their messages?
- Ban history of the users – how often, how long for and reasons behind it
- Comments by moderators on said user
The user search command is a useful tool – if a user is being a little bit borderline or challenging in the chat you can use this to scan over to see if they have a history of it. Simply put, taking action on troublesome users early on is an effective prevention for toxic behaviour later.
If you are reading this because there is something you want to look at but do not have a Chatbot installed or third-party software then these are your best and only options.
If you are just starting out as a creator and want to ensure you CAN have full chat logs in the future then your best options are a Chatbot or third-party chat log software.
Let’s take a look at these options.
Chatbots are perhaps the easiest way to create chat logs for you to view later. By using a chatbot such as Nightbot, you can view and download entire chat logs unmoderated. Most streamers should use a nightbot from day one even if you have no friends…because you never know when you will need it.
If, for whatever reason, you don’t want to use a chatbot then software such as Chatty will save logs for you to review. It looks and feels old school and very familiar with those who used mIRC back in the day (me!).
History of Twitch Chat Logs
The way to access chat logs has never changed on Twitch itself, the above and below guides are relevant now as they were in the past. However, in the past Twitch chat logs used to be stored on a website called Over Rustle Logs, these could be accessed in full, by anyone, at any time.
In May 2020, Twitch cracked down on this website (and others) with a cease and desist. Here is the email Twitch HQ sent out to the webmasters.
Therefore, if you are reading this thinking of building a tool like this – don’t.
How to check Twitch chat logs as a moderator
Viewing chat logs as a mod is the same as a creator. Enter into moderator view and then you can use the search commands or simply click on a user’s name to see their history. The other way to view Twitch chat logs as a mod is if you had access to the chatbot or 3rd party software such as chatty.
Ultimately, Twitch is lacking in regards to chat logs straight out of the box and it’s only by the creator finding extra tools does it become properly workable.
How to check Twitch chat logs as a viewer
With Twitch’s cease and desists of various chat log harvesting websites, your best bet as a viewer to see chat logs is Chatty, just like a content creator.
Download Chatty here.
You can try and use the remaining chat log database justlog, but the performance is spotty and it looks the database doesn’t get updated anymore.
However, it must be said that it seems a lot of work as a VIEWER to use Chatty just for logs.
How to check someone else’s chat logs
You can use Chatty to view someone else’s Twitch chat logs but only when you are a participant in that stream. It won’t collect logs for all channels you follow, for example.