Twitch streamers across the world are planning to strike in protest of the ongoing ‘hate raid’ problem which is prevalent on the platform.
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Hate raids refer to the act of spamming a Twitch streamer with abuse while they are live. These organised attacks specifically target marginalised Twitch streamers, and use many bot accounts to spam chat with homophobic and transphobic slurs, Nazi imagery, and even the personal details of the individual streaming.
The targeted attacks have become such a problem that Twitch streamer Rek It Raven created the #TwitchDoBetter hashtag, which ended up trending on Twitter. This prompted Twitch to release a statement, in which it admitted that “we know we need to do more to address these issues”
“We’ve been building channel-level ban evasion detection and account improvements to combat this malicious behavior for months. However, as we work on solutions, bad actors work in parallel to find ways around them—which is why we can’t always share details,” added the statement.
Twitter user Cypheroftyr highlighted how another Twitch streamer Pleasantlytwstd was being hate raided for over an hour. This included information about the streamer’s real address and included Nazi imagery.
Y'all @pleasantlytwstd has been getting a NON STOP hate raid since she went live over an HOUR AGO. AN HOUR. Including "raids" from her full name and this BS. CW: Nazi imagery.
— Cypher | Watch Game Changer on #BETHerTV (@cypheroftyr) August 21, 2021
Twitch streamer GlitchKraft has been hate raided on two separate occasions in the last week and a half. The streamer spoke with NME about their experience: “The last occurrence was during a charity event where I was raising money for Stand Up To Cancer. It started with a flood of follows from accounts with hateful messages in their name, then my chat was flooded with hatespeech.”
“They used alt-text so filtered words didn’t get picked up by my automod. When I set my chat to emote-only, the bots quickly filled my chat with emotes. When I limited chat to ‘subscribers only’ they started with hate raiding. What basically happened is that a big group of bot accounts raided me (with 1 viewer, so not “real raids,” where they will actually bring in people) and these accounts had profile pictures of swastika’s so my chat was flooded with those,” added the streamer.
GlitchKraft also discussed how the raid made them feel, with their primary worry being the community of individuals who watch and support them: “I have no problem staying calm during these attacks, but it does mess with your mindset during and after your stream. I found it hard to fully focus on the content I was making and I felt embarrassed towards my community because I didn’t like them having to witness all those hateful slurs.”
“I also felt bad for my mods, who had to deal with banning a lot of the bots. To be honest, I worry more about the effect on others than myself,” added GlitchKraft. The streamer created a short video after experiencing a hate raid that shows how to maintain control of chat, detailing specific apps and tools that steamers can use.
The Twitter boycott will take place on September 1. Streamers are encouraged not to stream on that day, and viewers are also encouraged not to watch. It is hoped that #ADayOffTwitch will encourage the platform to take more decisive action over the ongoing hate raid problem. The hashtag has already picked up support from numerous streamers, including Rek It Raven who’s initial tweet now has over 5,000 retweets and likes.
GlitchKraft has stated their intention to join the day of protest, although they also believe Twitch should have done something about hate raids a long time ago: “Twitch should have acted on hate raids years ago, as they’ve been happening for quite a long time. It’s disappointing that it takes all these people taking a stand on Twitter for Twitch to realize that they’re not doing what they should be doing.”
“There are a few things Twitch could change to prevent bot accounts from being made. Such as changing the account creation process with better authentication methods, and IP registration limitation so that there can’t be many accounts created on the same IP-address. Twitch could also make it so banned accounts can’t view the stream anymore and make them automatically unfollow the stream they were banned from.”
In other news, hackers gained access to the official Total War Discord yesterday (August 31) posting Bitcoin scams, NSFW content and booting numerous users from the server.