Twitch filed a lawsuit late last week against two people for running automated hate and harassment campaigns on its platform.
The harassment, which is often targeted at Black and LGBTQ streamers, appears in a unique Twitch incident in the form of “hate raids.” On Twitch, producers regularly point viewers to a more friendly account when their stream ends to promote their viewers, a practice known as “raids.” Hate raids reverse that formula, sending swarms of bots to harass streamers who have insufficient tools to stem the influx of abuse.
The hate raid takes advantage of Twitch’s new tagging system, which was requested by many transgender users to simplify community building and finding content that resonates. In May, Twitch added more than 350 new tags to help viewers sort streams by “gender, sexual orientation, race, nationality, ability, mental health, and more.” Accounts that spread abuse now use those tags to target racist, sexist, transphobic and homophobic harassment to streamers, another unfortunate misuse of a tool clearly designed to promote creators.
In the suit, Twitch described the haters as “highly motivated” malicious individuals to improvise new ways to circumvent the platform’s terms of service. Twitch named two users, “cruisecontrol” and “creatine overdose”, in the suit, but the company was unable to obtain their legal names. The users are based in the Netherlands and Austria respectively, and their activity began in August this year. Twitch alleges that CruiseControl alone has been linked to 3,000 bot accounts involved in hate raids.
While it’s possible that Twitch won’t be able to identify the true identities of the individuals behind the recent harassment campaigns, the lawsuit could serve as a deterrent to other accounts directing waves of abuse on the streaming platform.
“While we have identified and banned thousands of accounts over the past weeks, these actors continue to work hard on creative ways to prevent our fixes, and show no intention of stopping,” the lawsuit reads. Is. “We hope this complaint will shed light on the identities of the individuals behind these attacks and the tools they use, prevent them from being treated the same way as other services, and help put an end to these hateful attacks against members of our community.” will help.”
“This complaint is not the only action we have taken to address targeted attacks in any way, nor will it be the last,” a Twitch spokesperson told Nerdshala. “Our teams are working round the clock to update our proactive detection systems, address new behaviors as they emerge, and finalize the new proactive, channel-level security tools that we have been developing for months. Huh.”
Before Twitch’s legal action, some Twitch creators organized #ADayOffTwitch to protest the company’s failure to offer solutions for users targeted by hate raids. Those taking part in the protest demanded that Twitch take decisive action to protect streamers from hate raids, including denying creators incoming raids and screening out chat participants with newly created accounts. He also drew attention to Twitch policies that allow unlimited accounts to be linked to a single email address, a loophole that makes it easy to create and deploy armies of bot accounts.