Twitch sues users who it says carried out “hate raids”

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Top line

Twitch filed a complaint Thursday against two users who it said were targeting LGBTQ + and black streamers with hate speech and escaped the company’s efforts to launch it, a week after content creators boycotted the hate speech game streaming platform.

Highlights

The lawsuit has been filed in US District Court for the Northern District of California against users who call themselves “CruzzControl” and “CreatineOverdose,” who Twitch says reside in the Netherlands and Austria, respectively.

Twitch alleges that the couple began targeting LGBTQ + and black streamers in early August with “hate raids,” which involve flooding a streamer’s chat with hateful comments, often using bots to generate hundreds of malicious comments. that time.

Twitch also alleges that users evaded bans by creating alternate accounts and generating new word combinations or “hate raid code” to bypass the platform’s hate speech detection systems.

The company believes CruzzControl is responsible for nearly 3,000 bot accounts associated with recent hate raids and that CreatineOverdose used bot software to spam racist slurs and threats into chats, claiming “the hate raiders were the” KKK ”.

The lawsuit also claims that they created software code to conduct automated hate raids and continue to develop software to avoid Twitch measures to prevent bots.

Crucial quote

“These players continue to work hard to find creative ways around our improvements and show no intention of stopping,” Twitch said in a statement Friday. “We hope this complaint will shed light on the identity of the individuals behind these attacks and the tools they exploit, deter them from engaging in similar behavior with other services, and help put an end to these vile attacks on members of our community. “

Key context

On September 1, content creators boycotted the platform for a day, using the hashtag #ADayOffTwitch, in an effort to push Twitch to do more to tackle abuse and hate speech on the platform. In early August, another campaign from Twitch creator RekItRaven, dubbed #TwitchDoBetter, called on the company to install better tools to tackle the growing problem of hate raids. The platform noted it would launch channel-level ban evasion detection and account verification enhancements later this year. The company also said Forbes it continually updates its “bad word filters” to help block hate speeches and removes bots when they are identified, and encourages streamers to continue reporting attacks. Many social media platforms have struggled with hate speech. In July, Instagram announced that it was testing a new feature to allow users to lock their accounts to avoid offensive comments, after black players at England’s national team faced racist comments on the platform after their defeat in the final of the European Football Championship. Social media platforms like Facebook already have automatic systems in place to remove messages flagged with hate speech. In May, Facebook said it deleted 9.6 million hate speech messages in the first quarter of 2020, the most reported since data collection began.

Further reading

With “A Day Off Twitch”, marginalized creators highlight the scourge of “hate raids” (Forbes)

Twitch viewership dropped noticeably as streamers took a day off to protest (The edge)



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