Twitch has started legal proceedings against two anonymous streamers who allegedly participated in “hate raids” against Black and LGBTQ+ streamers.
According to a story by Wired, Twitch is now suing these two alleged hate raiders for “targeting black and LGBTQIA+ streamers with racist, homophobic, sexist and other harassing content”, which is a violation of its terms of service.
“We hope this Complaint will shed light on the identity of the individuals behind these attacks and the tools that they exploit, dissuade them from taking similar behaviours to other services, and help put an end to these vile attacks against members of our community,” a Twitch spokesperson said in the original article.
The two streamers in question are thought to be identified only by their usernames, “Cruzzcontrol” and “CreatineOverdose”, and are believed to reside in the Netherlands and Austria. Twitch says it banned the pair, but they created new accounts to evade bans and “continually altered their self-described ‘hate raid code’ to avoid detection and suspension by Twitch.”
The suit also alleges that the pair were members of a Discord and Steam group that would coordinate attacks purposefully with other members and bots.
As explained on Fox News by Vtuber Buffpup, a hate raid is when one account spams the chat with abuse, usually containing “very hateful language towards marginalised groups,” before a second account then reports the streamer for not moderating their chat correctly, resulting in a ban.
Many Twitch users protested the lax regulations of streams and lack of protections for marginalised streamers, using #ADayOffTwitch as a rallying point for support.
Twitch initially responded to request for a statement from Fox News, saying that “no one should have to experience malicious and hateful attacks based on who they are or what they stand for, and we are working hard on improved channel-led ban evasion detection and additional account improvements to help make Twitch a safer place for creators.”
Streamlabs, a tool often used to complement Twitch’s live streaming features, then introduced a new Safe Mode, designed to tackle these hate raids and prevent them from happening.
According to the Wired article mentioned above, Twitch now says it has banned thousands of accounts over the last month and been building “channel-level ban evasion detection”.