Last week, Twitch filed a proceeding against two people on its own platform to run an automated hatred and harassment campaign.
Harassment of black streamers and LGBTQ streamers often manifests itself as a “hate attack” as a unique Twitch phenomenon. On Twitch, after concluding that a stream will increase viewers, creators regularly direct their viewers to another friendly account. This is a technique called “raid”. The assault of hatred reverses the formula and sends bot swarms to harassment streamers who lack the tools at their disposal to stop the influx of abuse.
The hate raid leverages Twitch’s new tagging system, which many transgender users have requested to facilitate the discovery of content that resonates with community building. In May, Twitch added more than 350 new tags to allow viewers to sort streams by “gender, sexual orientation, race, nationality, abilities, mental health, and more.” Abuse spread accounts use these tags to direct racist, sexist, transphobic, and homosexual harassment to streamers. This is another unfortunate misuse of tools explicitly designed to boost creators.
There were many conversations about botting, hatred attacks, and other forms of harassment aimed at marginalized creators. You are asking us to do better, and we know that we need to do more to tackle these issues. This includes an open and ongoing dialogue on creator safety.
— Twitch (@Twitch) August 11, 2021
In the proceedings, Twitch described the hatred assailant as an “ambitious” malicious individual who improvised new ways to circumvent the platform’s terms of service. Twitch nominated two users in the proceedings, “Cruzz Control” and “Creatine Overdose,” but the company was unable to obtain their official names. The users are based in the Netherlands and Austria respectively and started their activities in August of this year. Twitch claims that CruzzControl alone is linked to the 3,000 bot accounts involved in the hate attack.
While Twitch may not be able to identify the true identity of the individual behind recent harassment campaigns, the proceedings may act as a deterrent to other accounts leading a wave of abuse on streaming platforms.
“We have identified and banned thousands of accounts in the past few weeks, but these actors continue to work hard on creative ways to avoid improvements and have no intention of suspending them,” the proceedings said. Stated. “This complaint sheds light on the identities of the individuals behind these attacks and the tools they abuse, discourages them from acting like any other service, and makes these sneaky attacks on members of the community. I hope it helps to end it. “
“This complaint isn’t the only action we’ve taken to deal with a targeted attack, nor is it the last,” a Twitch spokeswoman told TechCrunch. “Our team is working 24 hours a day to update the proactive detection system to handle new behaviors and complete new proactive channel-level safety tools that we have been developing over the months. increase.”
Prior to Twitch’s legal action, some Twitch creators organized #ADayOffTwitch to protest the failure to provide a solution to users targeted by hatred attacks. Those who participated in the protest demanded that Twitch take decisive action to protect the streamer from the assault of hatred. We also looked at the Twitch policy, which allows unlimited accounts to be linked to a single email address. This is a loophole that makes it easy to create and deploy an army of bot accounts.
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