Twitch has become quite the popular platform in the last few years. The gaming world had a major boom during the pandemic breakout in 2020, when people discovered a great form of entertainment not only in playing games but seeing others play. And Twitch’s streaming service was, at that moment, just the thing people needed in order to enjoy that.
It’s fair to say people like Twitch so much because it can provide a shared experience with people all over the world. It’s kinda like watching a movie in a movie theater. Except you’re watching a streamer play some games, while you and the rest of the audience are on their respective computers or phones. Oh, and there’s no problem in talking during it.
And in order to talk during these streams, people use Twitch Chat, which is a major feature of the whole Twitch experience. Through the chat, viewers can talk to other viewers and also to the streamer.
Sounds simple and peaceful, right? Well, not really. It’s the internet after all, and the whole thing can get chaotic pretty quick, with the streamers themselves paying the price for it on some occasions.
Can You Still Read the Chat Logs From Other Channels in 2023?
As many of the Twitch users may know, there used to be some websites, namely OverRustleLogs.com, that would record the chat logs from Twitch’s most famous channels that were not set to Private. However, these websites got a cease and desist letter from Twitch’s legal department and had to go down.
But there’s still a website that provides some logs: logs.ivr.fi. The website hasn’t been updated in more than a year, but several old chat history records can still be found. It’s probably just a matter of time before it gets shut down by Twitch though.
As of 2023, the only way you could view the chat history from another person’s channel —without being a moderator— is through their VODs; that is, of course, if they’re available on this person’s channel to common viewers.
You can also check your own chat logs as you chat in different channels through a third-party tool called Chatty, but it’s not a public database like the others, and it only shows your messages.
Why did Twitch Prohibit Public Access to Chat Logs?
Well, it turns out that the storage of chat history messages from the top 800 channels on Twitch had some not-so-appropriate stuff in them. Who would know?
What really started to bother some people (and obviously the Twitch runners) was the fact that these kinds of messages were being used to propel some drama amongst the largest streamers on the platform, as well as constant “expositions” being made by multiple parties using these records.
Sometimes messages were taken out of context to deliberately harm someone’s image, but on other occasions, people were just saying really nasty stuff. Either way, this kind of stuff was constantly being put out there.
To put it simply, it was just too easy to find overall offensive comments on the platform’s stream chats. All you had to do was search a little bit for it. And the fact that this massive online storage of messages was being held, with all this hateful stuff said by users, was seen by Twitch as this major negative item just waiting to be associated with the platform. So they made sure these websites were put down.
OverRustleLogs’ twitter account even posted the letter they received from Twitch at the time:
Websites like these were not always used to cause any harm or drama. People often used them to have some kind of fun in a healthy way. But it turns out it was the bad stuff that eventually got them popular – and on Twitch’s legal radar. These current restrictions to viewing chat history messages from other channels are a direct consequence of that.
How to Read Your Twitch Chat Logs
Even though these websites are prohibited, there are still some TOS-friendly ways you can track your own chat logs.
1) Use the user search command
On Twitch itself, you can use this resource to find comments from specific users made on the platform. You can do this by simply going to your channel’s chatbox and typing ‘/user’ followed by their username, and then pressing Enter. You can also use this feature as a moderator.
Click on the username and this will open a user card. There, you’ll see “Show Chat History (Messages)”. Click on it, and the messages will be available to you:
Aside from the user’s chat history, Twitch will also provide a ton of other info, 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 been banned from your channel.
- For how long that user has been a follower of your channel.
This is particularly helpful if you’re trying to figure out if a specific “ill-mannered” user has created another account to continue his wrongdoings without punishment. However, this method does not display comments previously removed by moderators.
Using a third party chatbot application like Chatty can end up being quite resourceful. Chatty is an open-source software that comes with a ton of helpful features to streamers. The program is available in Windows, Linux and MacOS.
To use the program, all it takes it’s for you to link it to your Twitch account and let it run in the background while you stream. Some of the most important data Chatty can provide includes:
- Downloading of chat history
- Automate chat moderation
- Customizable chat colors (that help you distinguish viewers comments)
There’s a lot of other customizable features that you can take advantage of once you get your way around the software.
An important reminder: Chatty can only register data from streams with the program running along with it. It can not show you records from previous streams, when you were not using Chatty.
Other alternatives similar to Chatty are Nightbot and Streamlabs.
3) Playback your VODs
Every time a stream ends, Twitch stores it as a VOD (video-on–demand) on your channel. So, yeah, this method consists of basically watching your whole stream again, except this time, you’re not streaming. Get it?
You’ll watch it basically as if you were a common viewer, and it will be possible for you to see comments that have been removed by the moderator, as well as any other comments. However, it’s not the most time-saving practice out there. If you’re looking for specific comments in a long stream, it’s more than likely that you will be pausing and playing the whole thing for heaven knows how long.
The Importance of Reading Your Twitch Chat Logs
Surprisingly enough, people being offensive and violating Twitch’s Terms of Service on the chat is not the ONLY reason why you should constantly check out the chat logs, but is definitely one of them.
The main reasons you should keep up with these logs are:
To check for inappropriate behavior
People can take advantage of how easy it is to create a (fake) account on Twitch and just fill your chat with some pretty gruesome, offensive stuff. It’s really important to keep track of those kinds of comments and ban the people responsible for them. If Twitch’s Terms of Service are frequently being violated in your stream chats, you may end up losing your channel.
To obtain insight through audience’s reactions
One of the other reasons why a stream chat can get chaotic, especially if you have a big channel, is that people can comment A LOT. With a major flow of comments, it’s impossible to keep track of all of them while streaming. However, checking these genuine reactions and opinions later is crucial to understand what’s working or not in your content, making sure your channel will evolve.
To review moderators’ actions
Moderators don’t always make the right call. Sometimes, they can time out someone that should’ve been banned or vice-versa. By reading the chat logs, you can determine if a moderator’s decisions were rightful or not.
Discover memes and loyal viewers
Your audience in Twitch may develop their own memes and inside jokes to communicate with each other. It’s common that your most loyal viewers are the ones responsible for propulsing that playful (and healthy) behavior amongst the community. It’s important to identify these viewers and give them some extra attention, letting them know their effort and loyalty is being noticed.
Will has been a full-time content creator since 2014. He’s an audio, video, and tech hobbyist dedicated to reviewing products and giving you the best tips he knows to grow your audience.