is this a real thing or is this an urban legend
bc i definitely had this thought before but i didn't think anyone else had
i don't like that i cant definitely say "they are not doing this" because there are half a dozen ways they could obfuscate it, but the only things going out after initial load are
1) beacons to scorecardresearch
2) gql queries refreshing presence, stream id, stream tags, stream access token
3) pings (and chat) on the chat websocket
4) pings on the pubsub websocket
5) HLS requests
none of them have anything that changes when muting or unmuting
youd think the scorecardresearch beacons would be the most obvious culprit but if they were then twitch wouldn't count any viewers using some form of tracker blocker. also i doubt they'd get near real time numbers like they do
anyway the only thing in there that seems to change ever after the page is done loading, regardless of muting status, are a bunch of monotonically increasing timers, i assume counting time on page
in the end i think the worry is that they *can* do this. i am fairly confident that they're not doing this, to me and my browser at least, but nothing stops them from flipping a switch one day to make a muted player add a new flag in hls traffic (which i suspect is where they are doing their beancounting) so that it is ignored in counting
@codl Things might look dramatically different when using the app, where they have full control over the state of every UI control, and probably tons of telemetry to report on those?
@galaxis possible! although if they really are interested in that information, i don't know why they wouldn't collect it on the web as well
@codl it's definitely something you can't check and claiming either side is probably wrong
it probably depends on wether you use the vanilla twitch player or a replacement like bttv, too!
@codl twitch has said this isn't true and they still count people with the stream muted and backgrounded etc but idk how much their word is worth
@monorail i mean i trust twitch more when it comes to numbers than when it comes to uh, community management. so that's something
@codl the only thing I can think of is that browser tabs that aren't playing any audio and aren't the foreground tab and aren't using websockets or webrtc are eligible for unloading
@ben hmm. well, even if you close the chat, twitch constantly has a websocket open and pinging
also i haven't seen it happen on firefox
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