With “A Day Off Twitch”, marginalized creators highlight the scourge of “hate raids”
Being a Twitch streamer can be exhausting at first. Long hours, usually layered on top of other full-time job, constantly entertaining and interacting with the cat. But marginalized creators, POCs, women and those in the LGBTQ + community, have an additional problem that comes up often and with force: harassment.
Harassment on Twitch or other streaming services is unfortunately nothing new, and yet these creators now frequently find themselves the target of a new type of attack called a “hate raid”, in which they are inundated with new ones. viewers and subscribers, but those who are just there to spam their streams with hate.
The question has become so pervasive that three designers, Shiney pen, Lucia Everblack, and RekitRaven, today hosted a blackout called “A Day Off Twitch” to highlight the issue and what is considered to be a lack of adequate response from Twitch regarding the practice. Twitch has released a lot of inclusivity messages over the years and has put in place tools that they believe will help end the harassment, and yet the new trend of hate raiding is only escalating, and it seems. that little is done on the ground.
I’ve spoken with a number of content creators who have suffered hate raids since practicing what they’ve been through and how they want to see Twitch react.
Here’s how a hate raid can start, via a streamer iamBrandon, who experienced his first heinous raid just two weeks ago:
“I had two new viewers who came in and tried to have a casual conversation, but I had already recognized one of the names as someone who had attacked someone out of hate before, so I had my tools ready to shut it down instantly. After talking a bit they followed and then the raid started and then I got kicked which means I had 500 fake accounts added to my account.
Things can escalate from there. Here is the streamer Zmoke, who describes his own experience:
“A mass of accounts, far too many to count, all flooded the discussions, saying” Behead all (racial slurs) “and spam the” Trihard “emote, an emote by a black creator who fanatical members of the Twitch community loves to spam whenever a black creator appears on an official Twitch show… It took over an hour to ban all accounts, and even after that I started getting follow ups from accounts that were “IP bots.” Since then, I have seen personal information like my name and address appear on Twitch because the bots were able to take my information when I decided to ban the account.
Zmoke doesn’t think Twitch has the right tools to tackle hate raids yet. “As creators we have some tools like blacklisting and muting words, but those methods don’t work because each bot in the raid uses a different accented letter or a letter on a different keyboard. The only tools that are useful in combating hate raids are user generated and not even from Twitch, like Commander Root, but even that is risky as it can inadvertently lead to the removal of innocent subscribers from your channel. He goes on to say that the central problem is systemic, not just the hate raids themselves, but the roots of racism in those communities and Twitch isn’t doing enough on that level either.
Banner euhmayyze has been on the platform for five years and is often known as an overwhelmingly positive creator in the community. And yet, the situation and Twitch’s lack of response put him off.
“Twitch needs to update their protection and security, it’s heartbreaking that they’ve let it go this far and create this disaster. They are talking about bringing something new in a year. Honestly, I don’t think so. The fact that they recommend old tools that don’t do bullshit… I really don’t think they know what to do. It’s all about the money at this point. Content creators and partner content creators are under attack on this platform every day this month, from doxxing, hate raids, addresses given to other channels.
“It’s something that needs attention now. “
Will Twitch pay more attention to the issue and its roots after A Day Off Twitch? It remains to be seen. I asked for a comment and will update if I have any news. For now, their last answer remains this thread from eleven days ago:
Here’s what iamBrandon has to say about it:
“Twitch has a long history of messing things up and then using general PR statements to calm the community down, but generally no action is taken or is taken for much longer. It has taken far too long for them to react to the increase in hate raids, although this is not a new situation. They should have had tools to prevent this several years ago. All statements without actions are no longer useful until a solution is given.